100th birthday brings memories of past


Messenger photo by Laura Englehart

 Anne Markey poses for a photo on her sofa, days before her 100th birthday. Though Markey grew up in Germany and has traveled across the U.S., she has been a resident of Franklin Township for the last eight years.

“I remember little things,” said Anne Markey, referring to the day her father left Germany to serve in World War I. She was eleven then.

Markey, a resident of Franklin Township for eight years, turned 100 on Jan. 26.

While she admits that 100 years is a long time to live, she still recalls many memories of growing up in Germany and her experiences immigrating to the United States.

“My father went to war in 1919,” she began.

“I remember what he had on—a kind of beige suit – and his head was a round one. I know he was kind of blonde and he had wavy hair…My mother was standing there and he kissed me goodbye. I think it was a little white nightgown that I had on,” she said.

“I remember that.”

Markey was born in Delmenhorst, Germany, a city about 250 miles west of Berlin, where she lived until she was 19 years old.

“I remember that we took in a soldier and he stayed with us. I didn’t have a coat, so the soldier gave my mother a gray blanket…Then, when she was going to make this coat for me, it was covered in lice,” she said.

“I remember those little things.”

Markey immigrated to the U.S. in 1929 and promised herself she could “make it” in light of obstacles.

She said, “It was hard to pronounce a ‘Th’…and I lived on Third Street.

“I was embarrassed always, so I made up my mind that I was going to teach myself to say the ‘Th.’ One whole afternoon, I said it until I knew how. Then I could ask the conductor to let me off on Third Street. I was very proud.”

Markey survived by working housekeeping jobs. She earned $10 a week, eight of which went to room and board. By the time she was 36, she was earning $20 per week in a factory and supporting her only daughter Carol.

“When my daughter was born, I cut my own (dress) patterns, just like my mother did. I wanted to be a dress designer, always.”

Though she never pursued a career in fashion, Markey worked a myriad of jobs that took her to other parts of the country, including California and New Jersey, before retiring and eventually moving to Columbus to be near her daughter.

Markey currently resides in the Seton West community where she lives comfortably without assistance. Her apartment harbors continued interests.

“I’m very artistic,” said Markey, pointing to the oil paintings on the opposite wall. The colorful still-life paintings resemble the bouquets of silk flowers arranged on the coffee table and in the kitchen.

“I did those (paintings).”

Also on display were pictures of her daughter, grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She also shared an album containing pictures of her relatives, most of whom she affirmed were deceased.

After uncovering a picture of her parents, Markey regressed to a memory of her father.

“My father was shell-shocked and I didn’t see him for years. I guess they sent him somewhere to get better. When he came back, he helped me with my school work,” she said.

“I remember that.”

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