If you've heard my bucket-list program, you may remember some of the examples I share of women who do surprising things in surprising ways -- and yes, at surprising ages. Take Ima Coe Wirth, above. She became a cover girl for her magazine for women when she was 101 years old (almost 102, but who is counting?) I edit the quarterly magazine, published by the New Castle Courier-Times.
Fast forward to Thursday, when at 104 (and a half) Ima Coe did something else amazing.
This time, Ima Coe garnered a visit by the state head of the Order of Eastern Star, Cindy Skura of Griffith, the Indiana Worthy Grand Matron, shown at left, above, with Ima Coe. The occasion was the pinning ceremony and official recognition of Ima Coe as a 75-year-member of the New Castle Chapter of the organization.
Friends, family and Eastern Star sisters gathered at Glen Oaks Health Campus for the celebration. Close friend Betty Houser did the pinning, below, as shown on the front page of today's Courier-Times.
At 104 (and a half), Ima Coe remains sharp as a tack, witty, and spunky. A Kentucky native, she remarked that everyone from New Castle is from there. She asked if I remembered her answer when I interviewed her for the magazine and asked what brought her to New Castle. I didn't. But she had the punch line ready:
"A Model T!" she said.
A 1932 graduate of Sulphur Springs High School, Ima Coe attended Hanover College, worked at the Knightstown Children's Home, New Castle-Henry County Public Library, at an abstract company, and for 30 years for an insurance company. She and Roy had two kids, who survive, and Roy has been gone since 1989.
She had a big party at 100 and the family promises another at 105, but she said for them to "forget it."
"I have so many friends," she said for the magazine article. "They're so helpful to me." And they came out to share some love with their friend on Thursday.
An avid walker for many years around New Castle Fieldhouse, she also enjoys books on tape, church, friends and visiting. She also sees voting as an honor. "You ought to vote to change things you don't like," she said at 101. "I don't figure I'm going to change much but I'll do what I can."
Skura, the Worthy Grand Matron, said she has given out about ten 75-year pins in the past year, but Ima Coe is the senior of that group. She seemed charmed by the New Castle woman who had plenty to say. Ima Coe got some laughs over a frank comment about what it was like in the Depression. She said back then, you didn't have "Kleenex or Kotex."
Hope to see you again Ima Coe -- invite me to your next milestone.