Do you think you’ll live to be 100 years old? Frances Kompus, a woman from Virginia, became 100 and celebrated with her older sisters. Yes, OLDER sisters. And this made the occasion even more memorable for her as a result.
However, the centenarian was not alone in her one-hundredth birthday. She also celebrated it with her sisters Julia Kopriva who is 104, and Lucy Pochop who is 102. Since they were children living on farms in Kansas in the early 1900s, the relationship between Kompus and his three grandmothers has evolved a lot. Florian William Holub was born in 1917 while Frances Rose Chleborad Holub gave birth to Lucy Pochop in 1919 and Julia Kopriva in 1920.
“It was good on the farm. I had a few geese to play with and even had some roosters I made pets.” Kompus told USA Today. Back then, females didn’t usually wear pants, so the girls worked on the farm in dresses. According to Pochop, “I just remember how we used to walk to school. It was about a mile and three-quarters. It was a long walk.”
Kompus continued, “We’d cross the pasture, we would walk, and then on the way back, we would stop at the creek and catch frogs, put them in our pockets.” Kopriva stated about their farm, “What I remember well is my father didn’t have modern tractors. We took gas, gasoline out in the field in five-gallon buckets.”
These ladies have seen it all throughout their lives. They’ve grown up during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Kopriva said, “It was dark sometimes. The teachers would call the parents, and, you know, to come and get us from school. Then, we had old homes, and at the bottom, my mother would always put wet towels so the dirt wouldn’t be so bad to come in. The younger generation don’t believe what we done went through. We work today, but we worked harder those days. ”
According to these ladies, things have improved since they were younger. Pochop stated, “We have got refrigerators and deep freezers. We didn’t have that those days.”
The sisters recall their childhood when hunger was a serious issue, and they discuss how they made the most of their home meals at the time. Kopriva stated, “We always had homemade bread, just plain potatoes, and gravy and meat. With those cookstoves, that was hard to bake. The temperature was hard to keep. Even if it didn’t come out good, we still ate it.”
Sure, they didn’t eat gourmet meals or even a lot of processed foods, but they ate excellent food. This is probably why they’ve “been around for a while.”
Each of these women has words of wisdom for future generations.
Kopriva stated, “And pray and try to stay out of mischief. I think faith comes first and thank your parents, and grandparents.”
And Kompus said, “I would tell them to walk a lot.”
Atwood’s Frances Kompus was thrilled to be a centenarian at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She and her sisters were baptized, confirmed, and married here.