After 100 years, Frances Kompus remains to be attempting to meet up with her large sisters.
Kompus celebrated its one hundredth anniversary on November 11. Her sisters Julia Kopriva, who turned 104 earlier in November, and Lucy Pochop, who celebrated her 102nd birthday in June, helped have a good time.
General, about 50 folks joined Kompus for the feast on the Catholic Church of the Sacred Coronary heart within the northwestern city of Kansas. This is identical church through which they grew up, had been baptized and confirmed, and the place every has married through the years. “Liked it,” Kompus stated in an interview just lately. “It was a very good social gathering.”
Rising up on a farm in Beardsley, Kansas with two older sisters, Kompus has all the time had firm. She remembers generally having to “run to observe her sisters” on the three-kilometer stroll to high school. “I all the time did what they did,” Kompus stated. “Typically it labored and generally it was enjoyable.”
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Their grandparents immigrated from Czechoslovakia and have become farmers in Rawlins County, equidistant from Denver and Salina, Kansas. They didn’t have brothers, so the three daughters labored on the farm for his or her mother and father.
Frances defined that she would use the tractor “for half a day at a time”, usually pulling a one-way disc plow or a rod weeder. “It was good on the farm,” she stated. “I had just a few geese to play with and even had roosters that I had made into pets.”
At their farm, positioned about 9 miles from Atwood, in addition they ate “good do-it-yourself meals,” butchering their very own pigs, for instance, she stated. Even throughout troublesome instances such because the Nice Despair, her mom cooked rooster and served dried bean meals, Kompus stated.
She credit consuming properly as one of many causes for her lengthy life and Kompus is blissful that the Good Samaritan Society home in Atwood, which she moved into in December 2019, additionally provides nice meals.
Different keys to longevity, Kompus stated: be social, stroll so much, and simply “maintain transferring.”
Rosalie Ross, editor-in-chief of the Rawlins County Sq. Deal newspaper in Atwood, interviewed and wrote about every of the sisters as they reached milestones through the years. Ross stated Kompus advised him, “Properly, we by no means ate fancy, however we ate good meals.”
“They had been farmers and arduous working ladies… They raised good children, a few of them are nonetheless farmers right here,” Ross stated in an interview with USA TODAY. “In fact the fascinating factor is that they’re all 100 years previous and so they’re all very wholesome.”
Speaking to them “was a lot enjoyable. They snort and speak and bear in mind,” Ross stated. “I’d say it was scrumptious. It’s a little bit of historical past.”
A narrative advised to her by Julia Kopriva stood out, Ross stated. When Julia was in first grade, she couldn’t be in the lecture room as a result of they couldn’t perceive her – the household spoke Czech at dwelling. However by the top of the yr Julia had discovered English and likewise taught her sisters and oldsters to talk English.
“So you’ve got a decided little child, (who stated), ‘That doesn’t occur anymore,’” stated Ross.
Sister Lucy Pochop just lately stated in a separate interview: “At the moment we did what wanted to be performed.”
Maybe the largest change of their lives got here when the 1936 passage of the Rural Electrification Act lastly introduced electrical energy to their farm, Ross stated. “Then they may have freezers, fridges and small home equipment, backyard lights and electrical energy to learn,” she stated.
Though the sisters have all the time been shut, the time they spent collectively elevated as every widowed and moved into adjoining residences in Atwood, stated Kompus’ daughter Fran Allacher, who lives in close by McCook, Nebraska. Every of the sisters has had kids and is a grandmother. Kompus and Kopriva are additionally great-great-grandmothers.
After Lucy moved into an house subsequent to Julia in 2000, “it was nothing for them taking part in playing cards each night time of the week, and dominoes was their factor,” Allacher stated. “They only obtained collectively and so they’ve been supporting one another, endlessly.”
The sisters loved watching polka dances rising up within the native Czech group, and till latest years they might get collectively to look at the Mollie B Polka Social gathering present on RFD-TV on weekends, Allacher stated.
“Sure, a number of dancing in our youth,” Kompus stated.
They mentioned their upbringing in a latest interview with Wichita, KSN, Kansas affiliate NBC TV. Pochop recalled how, on his first day of college, “Daddy took us to high school in a cart.”
As young girls, Kopriva told USA TODAY that she was happy to have her sisters around and that they still got along. “I’m glad we had company. We got to play together,” said Kopriva. But, she added, as the eldest, “I become a patron.”
“We’ve been together all of our lives around Rawlins County and Atwood,” said Pochop, whose son, Victor Holub, who still operates the homestead, began in 1917.
In the maternity ward, they called each other two or three times a day, said her daughter Valyne Pochop, who lives in St. Joseph, Missouri. “We have always had family celebrations with aunts, uncles and cousins and, of course, with grandfather and grandmother when they were alive. They have always been very close,” he said. she declared.
So close they were known as “The Three Musketeers,” Pochop said. “They’ve always been involved in each other’s lives. It’s just amazing enough.”
Also incredible? Even today, “I don’t think (any of us) feel that old,” Big Sister Kopriva said.
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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