While 2021 culminated in a lot of loss coupled with a pandemic surge, there have been some stories of ageless triumph through the birth of the new year.
Those stories are of three Rumson-Fair Haven area moms who reveled in their 90s birthdays unscathed, embracing their new age baking, creating, celebrating and emulating one another’s secrets of how old is renewed — gold.
New Year’s Day kicked off the fabulous 90s fete with the 95th birthday of former longtime Rumsonite, Lee Weber. Lee is on Facebook and posting. Her birthday announcement to friends and fans was a simple sieze the day one: “I’m 95 today, and I am tranquil, content and blessed. I wish you all a healthy, happy, and peaceful New Year. LOVE TO ALL!”
Peace and love right back, Lee! She celebrated with her family and is looking and feeling mighty fine.
Happy Birthday to this Rumson mom! Get a load of her age-defying beauty. It emanates from within.
And, we can’t forget the unsinkable 98-year-old Irene Miller, former longtime Fair Havenite, wife of the iconic Ray Miller Exxon Station owner and mom.
Irene was up on New Year’s Eve with her “kids,” all dressed up with somewhere to go — the living room for an intimate gala party. Daughter Peggy said they were hoping to make it to midnight. Pretty close. Irene hung in there until about 11:15, Peggy said.
Irene has not backed away from her famed Christmas baking, either. The last couple of weeks of 2021 had her immersed in getting those Hungarian kieflies (some spell it keifles) rolled, stuffed and baked. And she did it … with a little traditional help from her daughter.
Happy 98th year, Mrs. Miller! Keep on rolling! Here’s to a great 99th!
And, back in the beginning of 2021, the youngest of the three, former longtime Fair Havenite, beauty queen and pianist extraordinaire, Teddie Caulfield, turned 90. That was on Jan. 21, 2021.
Teddie had a pandemic-era intimate celebration with her family. She is still tickling the ivories; and, when there was no pandemic mayhem, she was out and about and up to her fun way of perusing garage sales. She is known for parking herself at any piano for sale and offer medley to buy by. In fact, every piano she has played at a sale has sold right away.
Teddie has played all around the towns, at Rotary Club meetings and various events, including St. Paddy’s Day parties at the Knights of Columbus and more. She also bakes a mean bunch of goodies and has always carried a pack of Chicklets to cure what ails any kid. “Chicklet?” That was her sweet mom credo.
Cheers to the beautiful Teddie! Play on! To all your kids’ friends, you’ll forever offer that little something sweet.
And a special “ladies of the 90s” addition … Longtime Fair Havenite Bill Berlew reminded us that his mom, Dorothy Berlew is still around the towns and thriving at 94. Cheers to Dorothy! Here’s what Bill told us about his mom …
“My mother Dorothy Burlew, age 94. Photo taken in December 2021. She is wearing necklaces handmade by the children of the Cheif of the Caribs using seeds found in the rainforest. He gave the necklaces to my mother a few days after being the first Carib to ever speak on the floor of the United Nations in 2017.
He wore the necklaces while speaking at the UN. A couple years back, the Caribs officially changed their name to The Kalinago. Their territory is now called Kalinago Territory and is no longer called Carib Territory. Their chief, including past former chiefs, are now addressed as Chief of the Kalinago.
Their territory was wiped out in September 2017 after receiving a direct hit by the eye of category five hurricane Maria. They have been struggling hard to rebuild ever since and went for more than a year without any communications or electricity. Not too many people know about this.”
The 90s never looked better!
— Photos/families of Lee Weber, Irene Miller, Teddie Caulfield and Dorothy Berlew