Community Outreach

Two residents celebrate 100 years of living

Two Carroll County residents celebrate 100 years of living

Heather Mongilio/Staff Photo

Celebrating 100 years of living

Thelma Gross, left, and Mary Asper each celebrate their 100th birthday at Golden Crest Assisted Living in Hampstead.

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013 12:00 am

HAMPSTEAD — The secret to living 100 years is hard work and staying busy, according to Mary Asper, a Carroll County resident who will turn 100 Sunday.

er celebrated her birthday at Golden Crest Assisted Living in Hampstead with Thelma Gross who turned 100 Wednesday.

The two had their favorite desserts and celebrated with the other residents at Golden Crest. Asper requested red velvet cake, while chocolate-lover Gross asked for brownies and a strawberry daiquiri, rum and all.

Being 100 does not feel special, Asper said.

“Just the same as every other day,” she said.

But turning 100 came as a surprise.

“And I never thought it would happen,” she said.

The biggest change she has seen in 100 years is her large family, she said.

Asper’s family came to celebrate with her. They sat in her room and joked with her about being 100.

“I look forward to seeing them,” Asper said and laughed when they asked her if she saw them too much.

Family is important to her, she said. Asper has four children, 11 grandchildren, about 20 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great children. She raised her four children on a small farm in Maryland, she said.

“I love them all,” Asper said.

Of her four children, three of them are girls.

“And they all think the boy is the favorite,” Asper said. “But they are all good to me.”

Asper was born in Freeland on a farm. She attended school until the ninth grade and then worked in a shoe factory. She married her husband, George, when she was 21 and lived on a farm with him, where they raised their children.

She moved to Golden Crest in April after living with her children.

For her birthday, Asper does not have a special tradition, but loves to eat ice cream, she said.

For Gross, the biggest change in 100 years is the electronic medium, she said.

“That and the automobile,” Gross said.

Like Asper, Gross is a Maryland native. She was born in Baltimore and then moved to Baltimore County when she was 10. She moved to Golden Crest this year, after living on a sheep ranch in Texas.

As a child, Baltimore was a smaller city and only had three hospitals, she said.

“It wasn’t a really big city,” Gross said.

Gross attended Towson High School and then went to teaching school. She worked as a teacher for 41 years.

“I liked interacting with kids,” Gross said.

She married her husband in 1936, when money was short and it was hard to make a living, she said.

Gross and her husband moved around the United States after her husband joined the Navy. She was in California when her husband went overseas during World War II, she said.

During the war, people would try to help the war effort and would sacrifice for their country, she said.

“I suppose it’s patriotism,” she said.

She liked living in California the most and liked its weather. While she liked Colorado, it was cold in the winter, she said.

“Colorado’s nice, but Colorado’s cold in the wintertime,” she said.

As for the secret to a long life, she does not know, she said. She suggests moving around a lot and to keep moving, she said.

Reach Heather Mongilio at 410-848-4400 ext. 8772 or email

© 2013 Carroll County Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to Community Outreach