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updated: 8/9/2012 11:35 AM

Batavia woman gives God the credit for her 100 years

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  • Isabelle Sandquist celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday at the Holmstad senior living center in Batavia.

       Isabelle Sandquist celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday at the Holmstad senior living center in Batavia.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer


When you turn 100, people ask you your secret to living that long.

Some people answer "Clean living." Others speculate it was genetics, noting their parents lived long lives. Some credit a daily cocktail.

Isabelle Sandquist of Batavia knows it was nothing she did.

"The Lord isn't through with me yet here," she said Wednesday, at a reception in her honor at the Holmstad senior living center in Batavia.

Resident after resident told her that she was an inspiration to them, and how pretty she looked in her pink jacket and floral skirt. They noted how active she still is at the Holmstad, sewing items for its annual craft bazaar and leading the Creative Cut-Ups group in making recycled greeting cards.

Rather than getting a swelled head over the compliments, however, Sandquist again referenced her faith. "I'm going to give it all back to the Lord, because that's why they are saying it," she said.

A family party was held Saturday, attended by all seven of her children and all of her 15 great-grandchildren. She shares a birthday with her oldest child, Ted, who turned 65.

Sandquist, from Ohio, met her husband while she was a secretary and he was a student at North Park Seminary in Chicago. They married three years later, when she was 32.

His career as an evangelical covenant pastor took them all over the nation: Kansas, Wisconsin, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Iowa, Colorado. She moved to the Holmstad 22 years ago, after her husband died.

The last of her siblings, a younger sister, died last year.

"I never planned to be 100," Sandquist said she recently told her doctor.

She recently traveled to attend a grandson's graduation in Seattle, plans to visit Ohio this month, and will attend a granddaughter's wedding in California in September.

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