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Schmidt celebrates her 103rd birthday with a full day of festivities

By Staff | Jun 16, 2012

Lorena Schmidt turned 103 Wednesday.

Two weeks before, she got an early birthday gift – a ride on a motorcycle, said Daisy Godbee, activities director at Juniper Village, where Schmidt resides.

Rolling Thunder from Naples provided her her dream ride, she said.

“She’s highly active,” said Godbee. “She always wanted to ride on a motorcycle because she didn’t get the chance as a child, that was an early part of her birthday celebration, riding in a sidecar.”

“The party was wonderful,” Schmidt said.

Actually it turned out to be a full day of activities.

“It was a whirlwind starting since breakfast. Flowers had come – we don’t know where to put them all – and the balloons I received were lifting up the table.

“I was surprised,” she said. “It was supposed to be a quiet birthday party.”

Her daughter, Alicia Schmidt, was there, along with Cape Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz and Mayor John Sullivan.

It was a very happy day.

“She was even on the Smucker’s Birthday Jar, which notes individuals over 100, but done by a local florist, Say It With Flowers, who also sent her a dozen long stemmed pink roses,” Godbee said.

Another fun part of the day was when Chulakes-Leetz brought a puppy, and named its middle name after her.

Schmidt talked about her long, happy life.

“I’ve done a total of 48 years of teaching; that’s all I have done all my life.”

She grew up in Dunkirk, New York on Lake Erie, and moved to Florida 46 year ago.

“I taught school for 37 years in New York and, when we moved to Cape Coral, there was only around 5,000 people here and one school, Cape Elementary,” she said. “I taught there 11 years, grades 1-6. My family was also the pupils I had in 48 years. They were all my children, my family.”

She talked more about the area.

“Del Prado was all sand where you turned to the buildings. At one time, I looked up at a milk car behind me, and it was only the car on the road besides me.”

Besides her daughter here, she has a granddaughter in Wyoming, so she hopes to have a great grand daughter some day.

She likes to stay active, enjoys playing bingo and watching her favorite soap opera, The Young and the Restless.

What is her secret to living a long life?

“Take it day by day. And the delivery of Norman Vincent Peale, he has formula to trust God, and do one day at a time,” she said.