When Lola Larmour
was born, the First World War had just ended, cars were
still a novelty and television hadn’t even been invented
Larmour celebrated her 100th birthday in Navan on March
31 with over 40 family members including her five children
(l to r) Judy, Ruth, Betty, Gordon and Jane. FRED SHERWIN
On March 31,
Lola celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her five
children, 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and five
great-great-grandchildren in the St. Mary’s Church Hall
It was the first
time Lola and all five of her kids had been together in
over 40 years and the first time that the entire clan has
ever been together. The scene brought a bright smile to
the centenarian’s face who was thrilled to be among her
extended family and friends.
wonderful. It’s such a nice present,” said Lola, referring
to the gathering.
Born in 1918
in a two storey home in Cheney, Lola, whose maiden name
is Stephens, has spent her entire life in the Ottawa area.
She first married in 1940 to Lytle Monahan with whom she
had four children – Betty, Gordon, Judy and Ruth all of
which were home births.
After Lytle passed
away in 1947, Lola met and married her second husband Howard
Larmour in 1950 with whom she had a fifth child, Jane. The
couple moved into a log home on Larmours Lane near Sarsfield
where Lola continued to live until she moved into the nearby
Hervé Joly seniors residence in 1989, five years after her
second husband passed away.
Through the years,
Lola has been active in the sewing and quilting community,
winning multiple red ribbons for her handiwork. To say she
is spry is an understatement. She insists on doing her own
housework and cooking and still walks up to her second floor
apartment rather than take the elevator.
Unable to drive
herself, Lola counts on her friend and fellow Hervé Joly
resident Thérèse D’Amico, who she refers to as her adopted
daughter, to drive her to the grocery store and other appointments.
Asked what the
secret is to her longevity, Lola says it’s her desire to
stay active. “You have to be willing to keep trying different
things and do stuff. You just can’t sit around your room
and watch TV all day,” says Lola who almost never watches
television herself, preferring instead to pursue her many
hobbies including sewing and quilting which she still does.
She doesn’t drink
any alcohol and she maintains a healthy diet and regular
exercise routine. She also has a deep belief in God.
“I’m happy and
I’m enjoying life,” says Lola who is the living epitome
of the old saying that life is indeed for the living. “As
long as God gives me the strength I’m going to keep going,”
Lola adds between well-wishers. “You can never give up.”
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