“I always tease him that I am the oldest,” says Adele Rickstrew, wife of Vernon. “And he laughs.” They are Hawaii Kai Retirement Community’s 100 years old couple.
She was born in Nevada on June 1913, and he in Colorado on February 1914. Both came from large families, did chores and helped with younger siblings. Recreation was dancing, ice hockey and horseback riding. “Crack shot” Vernon hunted deer and bear to feed the family.
Adele went to business college and became a secretary. When her first employer, a car dealer, asked her to do “showroom housework.” She quit, saying, “I didn’t go to business school to do dusting.” Later, she worked for a financial firm and the federal government.
In the depression, Vernon worked on a ranch from 7 am to 6 pm for 10 cents hourly. After work, he sold firewood he cut and bundled.
During Vernon’s 23 years in the Army. He trained recruits in pistol use. While in India, he was hired to hunt “man-eating tigers.”
Vernon said they stay healthy because “We eat good food, enjoy champagne and are not smokers.” She added, “We enjoy reading, television, napping and eating breakfast in our pajamas.”
The Rickstrews are getting into the holiday spirit: he with a Santa hat and she in Christmas colors. Together they will savor holiday festivities and their longtime love.
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