100 years old and wish is to go to heaven

Friday, December 7, 2012
Edna Quigley and her friend Berniece Spinelli.

There are many milestones throughout one's life, referenced Pastor Pinky Person of Cherokee, on the occasion last week of the 100th birthday of Edna Quigley, a resident at the Sunset Knoll Nursing Home in Aurelia.

Edna was not as thrilled over the occasion as all of her friends from the community and the care center were, in fact, she stayed for only a few minutes before going back to rest (which is allowable once you reach that age.)

Edna is so well-liked that those who were at the party were just thankful to celebrate the mere existence of their friend.

Edna, who lived in her own apartment into her 90s, has been a resident of Sunset Knoll for only a few years. Born in Missouri, she and her husband enjoyed their married life living in this area.

Administrator Karen Bentsen, who Edna calls her "boss", describes the new centenarian as very caring.

"She is always concerned about others and is always praying for people here," she said.

That is perhaps what drew her to her career of many years; she was a nurse at Mental Health Institute in Cherokee.

She also loves children. Unfortunately, her only child, James, died when he was 10. She lost her husband Harold when he was 79.

As Edna's birthday, Nov. 29, approached, the staff talked about having a birthday party. She told them at that time she didn't want to be at the party - but that they could go ahead with the party even if she was not present.

Her one wish, she says, is to go to Heaven.

Friends and residents filled the dining area where they listened to Pastor Pinky talk and sang gospel songs - which are very dear at heart to Edna. They were all treated to birthday cake and ice cream following the event.

Edna doesn't open her eyes any longer but she loves to hear the voices of her friends - if they talk loud enough.

Her good friend Berniece Spinelli, who wouldn't have missed the celebration, said, "Edna may be old in years but she is young in spirit. She has a treasure chest of her own memories."

Edna's only secret to her longevity, she said, was "to always fight your way through and have Jesus with you."

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