In the last 100 years there have been two World Wars, 18 presidents, the invention of the television, development of the Internet and the turn of a new millennium. This month, Duxbury celebrates two very special residents who have witnessed all of these events and more.
On Dec. 13, Nettie Edwards celebrated her 100th birthday with a surprise party at Bay Path Nursing Home. State representative Thomas Calter presented Edwards with a citation from the House of Representatives congratulating her and wishing her good health and fortune.
Edwards said her most vivid childhood memory is of when traveling traders used to come into town and try to enter residents’ homes.
“Whenever they came into town we would lock the doors,” she said. “If they came into the house, you wouldn’t know what they would leave with.”
Edwards said she doesn’t have a secret for reaching 100, but she said she never drank or smoked and credits her long life to a healthy diet.
On Dec. 20, Margaret Cochrane will also celebrate her 100th birthday at the home of her son, Scott.
Cochrane was born in Mexico, Maine, in 1912. She graduated from Boston University’s Sargent College in 1935 with a degree in physical education, and in 1941, she decided to go back to school to get a degree in physical therapy.
After spending three years at an Air Force hospital in Orlando, Fla., she worked at Mass. General Hospital for a few years and met her husband, Nelson, while playing badminton.
She and her husband were married in 1950 and bought a house in Hingham, where they lived together until he passed away in 1990.
Nelson Cochrane was in the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army after World War II. He served as the national quartermaster and was on the board of directors for a number of years.
Cochrane lived in the house with her twin sister Marjorie until 2005, when her youngest son, Scott, invited his mother and aunt to live with him. They were 93 years old.
Marjorie passed away in 2009 from Alzheimer’s disease, which Cochrane refers to as the “dreaded disease.”
Cochrane, whose older sister just recently turned 104, says she has a couple of tricks for staying young, including being nice to people and maintaining a good diet.
“You can get along with anyone if you really try,” she said. “The best thing you can do is to take things as they come; that’s what I’ve been doing.”