STOLLINGS — Logan County resident Esther Hinchman turned 101 years old on December 31.
Hinchman met with her closest friends, members of the Hemlock Hills Garden Club, at Pizza Hut in Stollings as she does every year on her birthday where she treats them to pizza in celebration.
“I already know what your going to ask me,” said Hinchman. “You want to know what the secret to life is? The secret to life is hard work and honest living.”
Hinchman was born in 1914 in Pike County, Ky. and lived briefly in South Webster, Ohio before moving to Huff Creek with her late husband, Woodrow Hinchman in 1931 where they had two children, Ronald and Sharon.
Sharon Hinchman, now Sharon Tibben sat beside her mother in Pizza Hut to help her hear and answer questions
“Having her as a mother was the most amazing experience,” said Tibben. “She is the most perfect mother to ever live on this Earth.”
The members of the Garden Club surrounded them both and agreed that Hinchman was one person everyone loved. Hinchman has been a member of the Garden Club since 1963 and according to her, it sort of just fell in her lap.
“Some of my friends were in it and I have always been interested in being involved with the community. I was a Girl Scouts leader and also taught during the war when there was a shortage of teachers,” said Hinchman. “I was involved in the band boosters when my kids were in the band as well.”
Hinchman says that even though 101 years has passed, she feels the same on the inside as she always has and hopes to remain as active in the community as she always has been.Aside from working with the Garden Club and other organizations, Hinchman also is a very skilled quilter.
“I learned how to quit the summer after I graduated high school in 1931 and I have been doing it ever since,” said Hinchman.
Hinchman has donated several quilts to the Garden Club to be raffled off but mostly she enjoys making them for her friends and family.
“She is currently working on one of the most complicated quilt patterns you can find,” said daughter Sharon Tibben. “She makes quilts for every baby in our family. She has such a kind heart and has truly been the perfect role model, even though she never taught me how to sew.”
“But I taught you how to cook a meal,” interjected Hinchman. “I had both of my kids cooking by the time they were teenagers. But that as when you were pickin’ peas, stringin’ beans and making cornbread to go with it.”
Hinchman says that if she could give any advice to younger generations growing up today it would be to get involved and stay active in whatever comes along.
“Kids today just need to do something,” said Hinchman. “I had a very strict father so I didn’t have some of the same problems that kids have today.”
Another hobby that Hinchman has thoroughly enjoyed throughout her life is traveling the world. Hinchman made a point to not only travel but make sure her kids were well traveled as well.
“She has been to Europe, Hawaii several times, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, England and many places in the United States,” said Tibben. “Her and dad used to take us to Yellowstone quite a bit as we were growing up.”
Although Hinchman has traveled to many places there is still one destination that has not had the chance to experience.
“I want to go to Ireland,” said Hinchman.
Hinchman then tells stories of her children growing up and her late husband as she beams with joy.
“We lived a truly happy life,” said Hinchman. “It has all been so good.”
(Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Gilbert Times. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225)