Kindness and Cod-Liver Oil: Resident Shares Secret to 102 Years of Life

102 year old woman smiles

Evelyn Wettour reflects on 102 years of life.

At 102 years old, Evelyn Wettour tells everyone the secret to a long and healthy life has been the advice from her parents to be good to others, and the cod-liver oil pill she takes twice a day.

Evelyn has seen it all and been a part of it all–so much that she can hardly believe it herself.

“I never thought I would reach 102 years. Never.”

And while she can tell stories of the world-wide events she’s lived through, the stories she enjoys telling are about love: those she loves and those who loved her.

One of 11 children, Evelyn was born in Lafayette, Indiana, before her parents moved the family to Chicago for better academic opportunities. “I just loved having a big family. When we would buy something, we would always share. My mom and dad taught us that you always share what you have. It’s never yours alone. So that’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

“If I have it to spare, why not share it?”

Evelyn says she tried to follow that advice. “I like to think, well, if I have it to spare, why not share it with someone who needs it, or even wants it?”

That kind attitude has made Evelyn many friends throughout her life, and especially at her home in the Saratoga Grove Retirement Community, a place she has loved since before she moved there in 2014.

“I used to be in the Women’s Auxiliary here. In fact, I used to drive 5 ladies here,” she says. “When I did move here, I already knew a lot of people. But, of course, there were many people I didn’t know who became dear friends. You don’t feel lonely here, not for long, anyway. We’re a family.”

Her retirement at Saratoga Grove has allowed her continue her habits of staying social and staying active. She has participated in the Walking Club and remained a part of the Women’s Auxiliary. For Evelyn, there’s always something she’d like to do, whether it is meeting new people or learning new things–both activities that are readily available at Saratoga Grove.

Growing up, she loved school. “I just loved learning,” she says. “I couldn’t get enough.”

Long before Evelyn’s retirement at Saratoga Grove, she worked as a secretary, where she excelled at shorthand. “The men I worked for always asked me to do shorthand for them because I was the fastest,” she says. “What I did was I took down the sermons at church every Sunday in shorthand, and then I read them to the family when I got home. I got really fast at it!”

She typed pretty fast, too, and had a typewriter in her home until she moved to Saratoga Grove. But technology has never intimidated her; she also learned to type on a computer and uses a cell phone.

“Always think of the other guy.”

Much of her life was spent with those she loved. While she was widowed twice, she says she enjoyed the time she was blessed with, as both men were kind and treated her with love and respect. She sees the impact of the kindness that has been her family’s legacy when she looks at the lives of her children and grandchildren.

102 year old laughs

Evelyn Wettour credits her parents with teaching her to show kindness to others over her 102 years of life.

“Always think of the other guy,” Evelyn says. “I was taught that by both my mom and dad. That was about all they thought about—the next guy. And then I see my kids, and how they are always thinking of other people more than themselves. I know they got that advice right.”

It was after she became a widow that she learned about cod liver oil pills. “I was listening to Paul Harvey on the radio,” she says. “He put his mother on cod liver oil capsules. Two a day. Her pain was all gone. So I started taking them a number of years ago, two a day at breakfast, and now I don’t have a pain at all.”

And so Evelyn leaves us the two keys to her long life, both pretty easy to swallow: two cod liver oil pills a day, and showing kindness to those around you. We’re thankful she chose to spend her retirement with us.

If you’d like to see the Retirement Living lifestyle that Evelyn has enjoyed since 2014, contact Saratoga Grove Retirement & Assisted Living at SG@provlife.com or (630) 971-1995.