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By Cynthia Haggitt
Jill Wieland turned 103 on Saturday, Aug. 17 and she is sharing her secret about what makes for a well rounded life.
Even though she said she has lived past what she should, she recalls some of the most interesting memories from the past 103 years and enjoys sharing them with her loved ones when they ask.
“Well, I think the reason I’ve lived as long as I have is the fact that I was raised on a farm. My husband farmed for a while after we were married. I’ve lived. a good part of my life on a farm,” Wieland said.
“I really think that makes a difference, between food and exercise and how I lived on the farm. Most of our food is in the garden. We raised cattle and pigs. So just about everything that we ate was homegrown.”
Wieland said she feels like she is still 50 and this birthday feels like the rest of them.
“I have had to many, it is just another day,”
Wieland was born in Taylorville and lived there until after high school.
“I went to college after my two years for general educational requirements and then after I finished there, I went to the University of Illinois and it brought me here to Jerseyville.” Wieland said.
Wieland stayed home and was a housewife, but she also was also a big volunteer in the community. She was a foster mother from 1962 until sometime through the 1990s.
She recalls being blessed with a lot of children over the years and she said most of them were babies that she helped foster until they found a permanent home.
“I remember my babies. They were angels and I probably raised around 100 of them through the years I did it,” Wieland said.
Wieland doesn’t get out as much like she used to. She says she is fortunate to have her daughter, Martha, who takes care of her take out sometimes like going to shopping market or to church.
“We haven’t done much anymore over the past year because of the COVID virus.” Martha said, “However she keeps herself busy by reading and it is her favorite activity.”
Wieland doesn’t have a favorite book and she really doesn’t watch much television.
She remembers receiving her first book just after her birthday.
“When I started school, I couldn’t wait to learn to read. My piece of advice I would give to the younger generation is that reading is so important. Learn to read and enjoy life.