Woman Marks 100th Birthday With Her Centenarian Sisters

Lucy Pochop, 102, and Julia Kopriva, 104, helped little sister Frances Kompus celebrate her big day
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2021 7:55 AM CST
Woman Marks 100th Birthday With Her Centenarian Sisters
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/efesan)

(Newser) – Is there something in the water in Kansas? On Nov. 11, Frances Kompus marked her 100th birthday, celebrating with about 50 others at a party in Atwood. Also attending her centenarian soiree: her sisters Lucy Pochop, who turned 102 in June, and Julia Kopriva, who reached her 104th birthday in early November. "We are getting up there," Kompus joked, per KSNW, which notes the "rare" occurrence of three siblings making it to such a milestone.

Per USA Today, the women's grandparents immigrated to Rawlins County from Czechoslovakia and became farmers, and the Holub girls (their maiden name) worked on their own family farm in Beardsley. They recall making a nearly 2-mile walk to school during the week and helping their father take care of business on the farm, tending to the crops and lugging gasoline in 5-gallon buckets to fill the tractors.

The sisters remember wearing dresses only, hearty but simple meals, and a time before refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Rosalie Ross, who as editor of the local Square Deal newspaper has interviewed the three women as they've each turned 100, tells USA Today that no one could understand eldest sister Julia at school in her first-grade class, as the family spoke Czech at home—and so Julia learned to speak English and then taught her younger siblings and parents by the end of that school year.

The three women remained close over the years, calling themselves the "Three Musketeers," Pochop says, and they offer various nuggets of wisdom on how to live a long life. "Walk a lot," Kompus tells KSNW. "Faith comes first, and thank your parents, grandparents," Kopriva notes, adding, "We eat well, right? And pray and try to stay out of mischief." Pochop simply agrees with both of her sisters. If it isn't yet obvious that longevity is a family thing, WPXI notes that the women's father, Florian Holub, almost reached the centenarian mark himself: He died at the age of 98 in 1988, according to Salina Journal archives. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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