Elinor Byrne is a pretty, witty 100

Elinor Byrne makes being 100 not only an accomplishment, but a very happy time of life.
“Everybody loves her” was heard over and over again at her birthday party at Wilton Meadows Rehabilitation and Health Care Center where she has lived for five years. She entertained the 50 or so “younger” residents and smiling staff assembled to honor and marvel at her poise, charm and lively sense of humor. When she was congratulated for having reached 100, she said, “Not bad!” and added “One hundred great years.”
Her daughter Marianne Foley, and son-in-law Peter of Wilton, her son Dan, who lives in Rhode Island, and one of her five grandchildren, Lauren Foley, were all there, proud as can be.
“Mom was involved in everything,” said Dan. “She was driving at 91. Family meant everything to her. She was married to my dad 47 years. They loved to bowl and play bridge.”
“It was a real love story,” said Marianne. “They adored each other.”
She’s outlived all her brothers and sisters. She was a twin, but her identical twin sister died 35 years ago. Her sister smoked. Elinor didn’t.
“Elinor loves chocolate and eats some every day. She can eat a whole bar,” said Dan. “Another favorite was a very dry martini.”
“I remember when we were kids and went to the beach, Elinor was there,” said Marianne.
“She was under an umbrella, wearing a hat and a dress with long sleeves. She never went near the water, but when we were there, she was there.”
“She had worries, like everybody else, but she never got stressed about it,” said Peter.
“She had several heart attacks when she was in her 50s, but aside from being hard of hearing, the only medications she takes are to control blood pressure,” added Marianne.
Elinor was born in Newburgh, N.Y., but when she was a year old, her parents moved to the Woodlawn section of the Bronx. That’s where Dan was born. Then came a move to White Plains and then to Stamford, where Marianne was born. She’s lived in Wilton 31 years.
“My mom lived with us for awhile, but then she needed more care, the kind of care she gets here,” Marianne said.
There was applause when Elinor blew out the 100-year candle and more applause when she cut the first slice of cake.
“We should have this every day for lunch, “she said.
During the difficult years of WWII and the Depression, Elinor had a saying, which she knows by heart, and uses to cheer up people: “Here’s to it and to it again. If you ever get to it and you don’t do it, may you never get to it again.”
Have fun. Take risks. Life is short. But not for Elinor.