by Tom Hartsock editor of Town Talk
Few of us will ever attain the status of Barbara Matten. She turned 102 years old Saturday, April 2nd, well past the age of retirement and above the average lifespan.
A century is forever and beyond for most of us, none of the rest of us were around in 1909 and have no ideas of what life in that decade was like. Barbara came to Gallup in the 50’s with her husband Jerry, who died later in that decade and Barbara was forced to work in a variety of jobs. She has a younger sister, (only in her 80s) still living in California. Barbara has been living at the Little Sisters of the Poor for about a year and a half and is still as active as one would expect, talking well and appreciating the company of the other Residents.
The party in her honor was attended by 30-35 of her friends from the home and in town. There w of course plenty of hugs and well wishes for Barbara, who seemed perfectly content and happy with where she is at this stage of her life.
Barbara’s niece, Pat Conway, joined her for the big day. As Barbara sat at the head table under a large “Happy Birthday” banner, she felt a little like royalty as the guests all made their way to where she sat placidly, waiting for the homage that comes to very few, 102 years of living!