BELOIT — When asked the secret of living to be 106, Eunice “Peg” Remmele said: “I have heard people say it’s living moderately. I have no idea.”
Remmele, who has lived at Riverside Terrace since 2007, turns 106 today, Thursday, March 4.
“She’s very bright, and she’s very opinionated, which I love about her. She will speak her mind and is not afraid to let you know how she feels,” said Riverside Terrace Activity Director Brooke Monyelle.
Remmele acknowledges she has lived a clean lifestyle, which may have contributed to her longevity. Her health and spirits are strong. She had COVID-19, but barely felt a thing.
“I didn’t feel really well, but I hardly noticed it,” Remmele said.
Remmele said she’s happy at Riverside Terrace, praising the CNAs for being caring and for such stimulating activities and cuisine.
“It’s a little more than comfortable living, I have a sense of well-being,” she said.
Remmele keeps her mind and body active, attending exercise class seven days a week and voraciously reading everything from novels to news.
“I was brought up on morning and evening newspapers and have had them all my life. I read the Beloit Daily News in the evening and the Wisconsin State Journal in the morning,” she said.
Remmele also attends all education programming offerings at Riverside Terrace as well as a bit of Bingo.
She celebrates the day’s end with one shot of Southern Comfort.
“My nightcap sends me to bed happy,” Remmele said.
“Until she was age 100 she also had a martini before dinner each night,” her daughter Kathy Fitzgerald noted.
These days Remmele is preparing for her birthday festivities. Riverside Terrace will serve her birthday meal of shrimp cocktail with sauce, lamb chops with mint jelly, twice baked potato, broccoli with cheese sauce and tiramisu followed by a bouquet of balloons from Glitz & Go and cards from her fans. Her family is driving and flying in to celebrate with her at Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint on Friday.
Remmele was a high school English teacher before she got married and started her family. Remmele said some of her happiest memories outside of family time was working a summer in college at Yellowstone National Park. Once she started her family, she devoted herself fully.
She married in 1940 to Wilbert “Bill” Remmele, and they had three children: Kathy (Gene) Fitzgerald, David (Thuy) Remmele and Martin Remmele. She has three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
“She was a caring mother who took her responsibilities as a mom very seriously. For example, every summer she insisted that I learn some project. One summer specifically I had to learn to sew,” Fitzgerald said. “She saw her responsibility as a mother as being, in part, teaching her kids what they needed to know. She saw her job as a mom to be an educator.”
The family lived in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. until 1947 when the family moved to Beloit where Remmele’s husband taught physics at Beloit High School.
After her husband passed away, Remmele moved to Riverside Terrace in 2007 and adapted with ease.
“She is an avid bridge player, sports fan, loves baseball, likes football and is a big Aaron Rogers fan,” Fitzgerald said.
During COVID-19, her daughter has tried to call her twice a week. However, most of their lives they have exchanged letters. With her upcoming party at Merrill & Houston’s, Remmele is thrilled to see her children, recently vaccinated, in person as well as other family.
“I am thrice blessed, I have three wonderful children, two stalwart sons and one lovely and charming daughter. Just for who they are, I love them,” she said.
These days Remmele is looking forward to the opening of baseball season. She joked she gets lots of compliments about looking young for 106.
“This is the way it looks,” she said.