Emogene Saulsgiver, a resident at Orchard Grove, a Heritage assisted living community in West Ellicott, New York, recently celebrated a very special milestone, her 100th birthday. Emogene spent her day celebrating life in a rather untraditional, but still enjoyable way, due to current precautions in place for the COVD-19 pandemic. Despite this unusual arrangement, she enjoyed the day greatly.
Tammy Devlieger, Orchard Grove Administrator, shared, “To be able to celebrate this milestone with Emogene as our family at Orchard Grove is not only a privilege, but a reminder for all of us to be grateful in the life that we have. We are delighted Emogene was able to share her story with us.”
Emogene was born on April 3, 1920. She married her husband, Dwight Saulsgiver, 16 years later in 1936 at the height of the Great Depression. Emogene shared they did not have much then, but no one did, so they did not feel deprived or depressed. “It was just the way it was back then. You just accepted it.” Emogene and Dwight shared 60 wonderful years together, and over that time had three children; Gordon, Steven, and Anne. She shared she was very proud that all of her children graduated from high school, as she had only attended through junior high.
In addition to her three children and their spouses, Emogene also has ten grandchildren, and “too many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren to count!” Family remains very important to Emogene and she is happy to boast about their accomplishments. She shared that her eldest son, Gordon, was an accomplished wood worker who used to make the sample furniture for Crawford Furniture. Her pride also shone through as she discussed her grandson, Dwight, who was a chef in the army. While stationed in Germany, he was the chef for seven different presidents from foreign countries.
In Emogene’s 100 years, she has had many happy memories. Bringing each of her babies home from the hospital were at the top of her list, followed by when they paid off their home. Emogene’s children were all in school when they bought the home, a four bedroom house with 50 acres that they bought for approximately $4,000. The house was built during the Civil War. Though it may not still be standing, still holds many memories for her. “There is no better feeling then when you no longer have rent and the place is yours. No one can take it from you,” she stated.
Being a homemaker all her life, Emogene cared for her husband and three children, along with their beloved home. The family attended the First Baptist Church in Panama, NY, for many years. Emogene raised all of her children to love the Lord, which she said was her most important job of all. “Find the Lord. That is the most important thing. If you find the Lord, everything else will come the way it is supposed to.”