Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 29, 2014

‘Living right’ at 102

Babe’ Caldwell’s life is a living history lesson


Somerset —

Babe quickly became part of the community.
“She was just always active with young people, working with the Girl Scouts and at church,” said Ross. “Anything we were in, she was in.”
That included following the Briar Jumpers of Somerset High School around when her daughters attended school there, riding the bus to activities and being in the mix. That was all part of her role as a mother — Babe remained a dedicated homemaker and stay-at-home mom.
Peyton died in 1980, meaning that Babe ended up living on her own for over 30 years before finally moving to The Highlands in July of last year to help make sure she got the help she needed with medicine and in case of emergencies.
“I think it’s wonderful. This is such a good place for her to be,” said daughter Jayne Adams. “They take good care of her here.”
To reach her current age, Babe stayed vigilant, eating well and doing exercises. She raised her family to do likewise.
“She always made us eat our vegetables whether we wanted them or not,” said Ross.
According to the daughters, reaching the milestone of 100 years of age — which was celebrated with a party at Old Town Deli a couple of years ago — was a goal for Babe.
“She always said ‘I’m going to live to be 100’ — that’s been a statement of hers for many, many years,” said Ross. “She always joked with Dr. (Jerry) Weigel, ‘You help me get there,’ and he said, “I’ll do my part, and you do your part.”
Babe herself doesn’t recall that as a goal — though she noted that is indeed something Dr. Weigel might have said — but said that being 102 now doesn’t feel any different.
“I’ve enjoyed my whole life, even with the odds slim,” she said. “I enjoy my grandchildren more. ... I like to be close to my family. I don’t want to be away from them.”
Lucky for Babe, she’s had 102 years to be around family — and lucky for her family to have been around her.

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