Wisconsin woman misses turning 100 by one day

Since this is a day to honor 100-year-old women, we’ll waive the 100-year-old requirement to take note of Betty Trimberger Smith, who died last Wednesday, hours short of her 100th birthday, the Milwaukee Journal’s Jim Stingl writes today.

“She kept saying to people, ‘I’m going to be 100 in March.’ Just 23 more hours and she would have made it,” Betty’s daughter, Cherlyn Frenchmore, said.

Only about one in 6,000 people makes it to 100. “It’s like running a marathon and passing out three feet from the finish line,” Stingl says.

She got a one-paragraph obituary:

Trimberger Smith, Elizabeth “Betty” (Nee Signer) Went to be with her brothers John and David and sisters Mary and Margaret and their spouses in Heaven March 14, 2018, the day before her 100th birthday. Beloved wife of the late Clement Smith, Archie Cox, and Jim Trimberger. Loving mom to Kenneth and Cherlyn (Frank) Frenchmore. Second mother to Jerry (Roxey) Stiefvater. Grandmother to Amanda (Russ) Conway. Further survived by nieces, nephews, and friends Memorial service will be Saturday, March 17 at 11 AM at St. Gabriel Church, 1200 Saint Gabriel Way, Hubertus. Visitation from 10 AM until the time of service. Private interment St. Hubert Cemetery. Betty will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts. A special thanks to Seasons Hospice and her Hospice Team for their above and beyond care.

“She was amazed that she was going to be 100, that she would live that long,” Cherlyn said.

  • My mom made it to 94, almost 95. She probably would have made 100 if she hadn’t had an injury accident. At that age, she had seen most of her friends and many relatives die. This is one of the down sides of really old age – losing almost everyone in your own age group, making your circle of friends shrink away. My mom was good at was making friends, a life skill which served her well working retail over the decades but really came into its own in her old age. She simply made new friends that replaced the old ones – and she was happy right up to the end. I’m guessing Betty had that skill too.