St. Hedwig’s parishioner Genevieve Yantha turns 100


1922 was marked by many significant events. The British Empire was at its largest expanse with Britain ruling over a quarter of the world’s population.  Mahatma Gandhi received a sentence of six years in prison for sedition. James Joyce had his novel Ulysses published in Paris and U.S. President Harding introduced the first radio to the White House. Pope Pius XI became the 259th pope and in Toronto Frederick Banting successfully treated diabetes with insulin; and here in Wilno, a baby was born to Mary and Joseph…no not that Mary and Joseph, Mary and Joseph Chippior.

On Jan. 3, 1922 the Chippiors welcomed their daughter Genevieve into the world. She was one of ten children and she landed somewhere close to the middle of the pack. Genevieve and her siblings grew up in Wilno and she has one remaining sister who is in her early 90s. As a child she and her siblings worked the farm and walked an hour to their classes, heading through the fields to get to the parish school.

On Oct. 24, 1944 Genevieve Chippior married Maxie Yantha and became Genevieve Yantha. This past Monday Yantha celebrated her 100th birthday. In a telephone interview with The Valley Gazette a few days prior to her birthday, it was clear that Yantha remains as sharp as a tack and retains a strong independent streak.

If Yantha knows the secret to reaching 100, she is keeping it to herself. When asked how she managed to reach this goal she confessed that she was really quite surprised to be 100 and could not say how she managed to pull it off. However, a few key ingredients seem to run through as recurring themes throughout her life, and they may have had a good deal to do with how she reached her century mark.

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