Here’s to 101!

Frances Hartung has always been a firm believer in exercising kindness throughout her life. On June 8, generosity repaid her when St. John honored the Edgewood Grove resident with a surprise party celebrating her 100th birthday.

Pam Berbach, a registered nurse at St. John, arranged for the surprise party to take place on the fifth floor of Edgewood Grove. This way, all of Frances’s fellow residents and staff members could attend. “You only turn 100 years old once,” Berbach said. “I had to do this for her.”

Berbach has been caring for Frances since April but explained how the centenarian has already taught her so much.

“What I love most about Frances is the education she teaches,” Berbach said. “She’s so dignified and if people would just take the time to sit and listen to her, they would learn so much.”

Hartung, a longtime Mars resident and retired school teacher, was completely caught off guard by the event. “I had no idea they were going to do that,” Hartung confessed. “I didn’t deserve it.”

If Hartung wasn’t humble enough, she expressed the need for nothing in return for making it to a century.

“I’m content with what I have,” Hartung said. “I’ve been blessed in more ways than anyone.”

Hartung concluded she owes her longevity to her enduring faith in God.

Barbara Hull-Chelko also assisted with Frances’s surprise party and has been involved with St. John activities for the past 17 years.

“I’ve known Frances since 2016,” Hull-Chelko said. “She loves reading, watching football and she is very religious.”

“Frances was actually a St. John volunteer for 35 years,” Hull-Chelko continued. “So it is a blessing to have her back here.”

The occasion was complete with cupcakes, decorations and a teary-eyed “thank you” from Hartung.

From everyone at Lutheran SeniorLife, happy birthday Frances! Here’s to 101.