|Birth: ||Sep. 10, 1896|
|Death: ||Nov. 25, 2001|
The following story was published in the Front Royal, Va., Warren County Sentinel to commemorate Vergie Reel's 99th birthday but she was blessed to live to be 105 years of age.
The Warren Sentinal, September 1995---
Vergie Barton's elixir for a long life would include a lot of clean living, staying busy and ... giggling.
"Aging is not a ticklish subject for Vergie Reel, except that it seems to make her giggle a lot.
Reel turned 99 on Sunday, and she laughs that she doesn't feel old, or any older.
As a matter of fact, she reports "that she has been getting along right good."
Arthritis in her hands used to bother her but she says that she discovered that doing more, not less crocheting, helped it. So she says she has no use for the treatments she used to get.
Crocheting is one of the many things she enjoys doing which she says have made those golden years really golden.
A native of Shenandoah County who has lived in Front Royal the last 35 of her 99 years, Reel is sharp, speaks clearly, articulately, and possesses much warmth and charm.
It is hard to believe she is one year short of a century. Unlike many of her peers of younger years, she is not on any medication, has no aches or pains of any description, and gets around just fine with a cane. The only other device she relies on is a hearing aid.
She does not have a clue as to why she has made it 99 years, except to say she's lucky and hopes to hit 100.
But it would seem that her elixir for a long life would include a lot of clean living, staying busy and ... giggling.
"I don't feel any older." she giggles from the home she shares off of Route 619 with her son Alfred and his wife Margaret. "Clean living, I think that helps." she quips.
"I never used snuff or tobacco. No, I never drank." she says. Her favorite beverages are hot chocolate and tea.
Reel's family held a party for her Saturday.
"I have three good children. They help me to do, whatever." she adds.
She is quick to point out she is proud of her 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Much of her extended family lives right around the corner, so to speak. Her son, Gilbert, lives just a mile away. Her daughter, Kathleen, lives in town.
In a typical week, Reel will go to church, Bennett's Chapel, on Sunday. The rest of the week, she may go to the Jolly Sixties Club, walk the mile to her son Gilbert's house, or stay home and help her daughter in law hull beans and wash the glass jars for canning purposes.
"I think it's good for people to stay busy, don't you?" she asks while working on yet another project.
"I'm crocheting a bedspread. I make the granny squares first. I got a bunch to put together now." she adds.
Other projects that she says keep her hands and mind busy include making kitchen crafts for her family and baking her homemade pies.
No store bought crust for this spunky woman - she makes her own, using margarine. Her favorite pies are filled with fruit, chocolate, lemon or coconut.
In her younger years, she did housework and took in washing to earn money. Her husband, Claude, who died at age 82, worked on farms most of his life.
Life has been good to her, but not without sorrow and worry. One of her children died during childbirth at home.
"The doctor didn't get there in time." she explains.
Then, when her two sons were in the Korean War, she worried. Alfred was wounded in action. It is a vivid memory for her.
Today, her children and their families bring her much joy. She visits them or vice versa.
But she prefers it when they come to see her, rather than the other way around, as she reports that she is not much of a gad-about-town.
More of a country girl?
"Yes, I'd say so." she replies. "I really like the country. I always had a garden. You have more privilege to live, more space."
Her son, Alfred, attributes his mother's long life to her deep faith.
"That's the first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is read the Bible, and the first thing she does when she gets up. She's very religious."
Charles Edward Barton (1865 - 1951)
Lucinda Day Barton (1865 - 1930)
Claude G Reel (1894 - 1977)
Marie Reel (1921 - 1921)*
Bennetts Chapel Cemetery
Created by: FDP
Record added: Aug 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29115491