HALSTEAD — Bertha Steinle, a former Newton resident, celebrated her 101st birthday on Aug. 15.
Steinle, who was born in LeHigh, said longevity runs in her family.
"I had two sisters and four brothers," Steinle said. "...My sister lived to be 102 and daddy was almost 100."
Steinle saw lots of changes take place over her 101 years.
"We didn't have electricity at our place," Steinle said. "...We didn't have a radio."
The youngest of the seven children, Steinle attended school in Lehigh.
"I never liked school," Steinle said. "...Only the last year."
After graduating from school, she found work as a housekeeper.
"I worked for a family that had seven boys," Steinle said. "I liked my job, because I liked to cook."
Steinle accompanied the family on their vacations to places like Niagara Falls and South Dakota.
"They were good to me. They treated me nice; like one of the family," Steinle said.
Her father worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, and she recalls one memorable trip on the train.
"We went to California," Steinle said. "...My brother had a beach home."
Steinle liked to be out in nature — her favorite activity was to pack a basket with food and walk to a scenic spot.
"I always liked picnics," Steinle said.
Her basket would often include homemade potato salad.
"My mama made such good potato salad," Steinle said.
She also liked to garden and grew her own vegetables and flowers.
"I always loved flowers," Steinle said.
She never married and had no children.
"I didn't care for marriage," Steinle said.
Steinle worked at Bethel Home for the Aged for 40 years.
"I liked that," Steinle said. "I liked the old people."
Surviving a massive stroke in 2007, she has since resided at Halstead Health and Rehab.
On Wednesday, Steinle's family gathered to celebrate her special day and eat her favorite dessert — angel food cake with strawberries.
When asked what her secret was to living so long, Steinle just laughed.
"I have no secrets."