MORGANTOWN - Few can comprehend just how long a century is, and even fewer get to experience that kind of time in its fullness. But one local woman, Catherine "Katie" (Zerbe) Kring, will have had that chance on June 5 when she celebrates her 100th birthday.
Kring was born in 1908 on her parents' farm in Bowmansville, and has a long lifetime of memories that stretch from her early years helping her parents on the farm to knitting at Colonial Mills in Mohnton to working at the Triple Z hosery mill and serving as a cook and nursing for the Good's Convalescence Home and Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center until her retirement at the age of 72.
The oldest of eight children, Kring worked closely with her sisters, the founders of Zerbe Sisters, and remains close with her only surviving sister, Ann Z. Good. She married in 1929 and had three children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She remains the oldest member of St. Paul's UCC in Bowmansville, and is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary there.
Her fondest memories are of Christmas with her family, when the children would be given candies and taffy made by her mother on the family's wood stove.
"We didn't have a lot to play with," Kring said, "but we had a lot of fun."
Kring's family and friends have planned a birthday celebration at the home of Kring's daughter, Nancy Ann Caffery-Schafer, on June 7.