Dorothy Coulter of Franklin turns 100 on Saturday, and she is looking forward to the family, friends and chocolate the momentous occasion will bring her.
Dorothy, who spent most of her life in Pittsburgh, lives at the Colonial Manor Apartments in Franklin. One of her aunts lived to be 103, and when she was asked if she was trying to beat that record, she responded with a chuckle that she wasn’t.
She says she has no secrets to leading such a long life other than making sure she always eats her food. She even went so far as to jokingly say she is living so long “to make it miserable for everyone else.”
At first glance, Dorothy seems to be just incredibly lucky. She experienced four knee replacements, breast cancer and even hip surgery by the age of 98, but she never complains and believes God will take her away when her time comes.
Dorothy’s daughter, Pat Vaughan, spoke highly of her mother’s devotion to sending cards to those in need while her health still permitted. She would send out thinking of you, get well and birthday cards to many friends and family.
Dorothy joked that the Hallmark store in the Cranberry Mall closed because she was no longer able to go and buy her cards.
She retired from Mellon Bank after working there for 27 years. She also used to volunteer at the South Side Hospital in Pittsburgh and volunteered to write newsletters for the Venango Youth for Christ and the Red Cross.
Dorothy also always buys dinners at churches and fire halls even if she has to send someone else in her place because she knows she is supporting a good cause.
She said she loves living at Colonial Manor, which is operated by the Franklin Housing Authority, and she says she takes advantage of every activity the facility offers. She is very thankful she is still able to live mostly on her own thanks to the help of her daughter and her friend Lola Stroup.
“I enjoy every day of my life, I really do,” said Dorothy.
When she was younger, Dorothy would walk four or five miles around her neighborhood and look at the scenery every day, and she tries to keep exercising now by walking the halls of her building.
While Dorothy does not look her age, her taste in music shows it ever so slightly. She prefers big band music to the rap and pop music that is popular today as she can never understand the words.
Her favorite artists include the Dorsey Brothers, of whom she prefers Tommy, and Lawrence Welk. She also enjoys reading love-inspired Christian books.
Dorothy will receive a presidential greeting from the White House for her birthday, but she thinks this is funny because she doesn’t even know the president. She would much prefer cards from people she knows who love and care about her.
As chocolate is her favorite, Dorothy is hoping for a chocolate French silk pie but will settle for a chocolate cake for her celebration.
Dorothy said that as she approaches her milestone birthday she wants to thank the Lord for everything he has given her.