NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
A Forteau woman is reaching a major milestone as she celebrates her 100th birthday this week.
Dorothy Roberts is hitting the centennial mark on Sept 26 and to family members, her longevity is no surprise.
“She always took really good care of herself,” her daughter Louisa Dumaresque told the Northern Pen. “I just felt like she’d live to be 100.”
Dorothy was born to Arthur and Maude Whyatt of Pilley’s Island in Green Bay on Sept 26, 1918.
To put things in perspective, her grandson Shane Dumaresque points out his grandmother was born less than two months before the end of World War I.
Early in her life, she suffered some health scares, including two bouts of tuberculosis. One led to a major surgery, where, Shane says, a bone had to be moved from her knee to her back.
“It’s a testament to how strong she is and how strong-willed she is that she’s still around today,” he said.
Dorothy recovered and later moved to Forteau in the Labrador Straits, where she’s lived ever since.
At the age of 22, she married a local man, Lawrence Roberts, and they raised three children.
According to Louisa, her mother spent most of her days keeping the household in order as a stay-at-home housewife.
“She was really home all the time,” said Louisa. “She lived a very quiet life.”
That small family is now three generations, with eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Her husband Lawrence passed away 12 years ago.
Shane characterizes her as a typical grandmother – someone who took her religion seriously, never drank or smoked and has always been very kind.
He says he always enjoys their visits.
“Grandmother is synonymous with family, she’s just a nice person, a wonderful cook, very giving and very kind,” he told The Northern Pen.
The family plans to have a celebration for her at the long-term care unit in Forteau where she currently resides.
SENIORS IN PROFILE: The Northern Pen’s recurring feature looks at the lives of seniors along the Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador. If you know a local senior with an interesting story to tell, email or call The Northern Pen: email@example.com or 709-454-2191.