“Keep busy and do good for others” says 105 year old

Wilma Rosenow with her daughter, granddaughter and great grandchildren celebrating her 105th birthday.

Wilma Rosenow is almost giddy.  She banters lightly with camera crews from local television stations, at ease with being in the spotlight.  I ask her if it’s alright to take her picture and she asks coyly “what am I supposed to do” while flinging one leg over the arm of an overstuffed chair and posing one hand behind her head  like a movie star and giggles.  It’s her birthday and you can almost feel the electricity zinging through her system even as she takes a moment to pat a hand and check to make sure someone else will get cake.

You could say she looks good for her age but what does someone look like at 105 years old?  The fact is she looks terrific for any age.  She moves with a grace and an ease belying the several decades she’s outlived the average person.

It’s normal to ask someone reaching such a pinnacle what their secret is to longevity.  She says it’s in thinking positive and being positive, getting a “nice night of rest,” and participating in “all the activities you can.”

From her church to the Lakewood Republican Women, she’s always been involved with organizations.  Rosenow and her daughter, Marlene Bostic modeled for Narrows Glen, where she’s lived since 2004 and for the Lakewood Republican Women.  She and three other women founded the Manhattan Dance Club in Tacoma, which still exists.  After nearly 50 years, she still belongs to both the Mountaineers and to the Audubon Society.

She loves traveling and has been to 16 countries including parts of Asia, Europe and Israel and gone cruising six times.  “If there was a trip offered that I hadn’t taken, I’d go,” said Rosenow.  She went to Japan in 1964 because she was told, “if you don’t come now you’ll never make the trip and she went and she’s never quit,” said Bostic.   At 62, Rosenow took skiing lessons.  At 86 she went cross country skiing in the Canadian Rockies with her son, Richard Rosenow.

Her birthdays for the last several years have centered on Harley Davidson’s after Jacquelyn Kleinger, the activities director at Narrows Glen, noticed Rosenow talking to two bikers at a rest stop.  Daryl Ruff announces his arrival with the smoke and roar of his big black bike driving into the entry way of Narrows Glen.  Ruff, a salesman from Destination Harley Davidson in Tacoma has attended her birthdays every year since she turned 101.  At her 101st birthday, Ruff took her riding on his Harley.  He told her then, “don’t worry; I’ve been doing this since you were 65.”  He pledged this year, “you keep having them, I’ll keep coming.”