The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

 

What an incredible woman. What an interesting life. Happy Happy Birthday to Wellesley resident Herlda Senhouse. Herlda just celebrated her 113th birthday on February 28, 2024. That makes her not only the oldest resident of her hometown Wellesley. She’s also Massachusetts’ oldest resident. She became the oldest known living resident since the death of Hazel Plummer on May 25, 2023.

Celebrating Massachusetts’ oldest resident

Herlda Senhouse, also known as “Aunt Herlda,” had a very special celebration for her 113th birthday. She was honored with a special cane that was given to her as the oldest resident of her hometown on Wellesley. The celebration was held at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham. Herlda is recovering there from a brief illness. Tom Ulfelder, who is the Wellesley Select Board Chair, presented Helga with a resolution for her special day. Tom said that, “Through her strength of character, joy of life, kindness, and sense of humor, Herlda continues to enrich the town we share.” At her party, Herlda told everyone that she is feeling much better. According to 7News Boston, Herlda still gets a monthly mani/pedi, and is also a big fan of slot machines. She was also asked about her secret to a long life. She laughed saying, “I don’t have children.”

Herlda on centenarians and and Alzheimer’s disease

Last year, Herlda was featured in an article about centenarians and Alzheimer’s disease. In the feature, they say that she is the “rarest of rarities.” Apparently, only about 1 in 5,000 people in the United States is a centenarian. How many are in Massachusetts? About 1,900 live here according to 2021 federal records. The odds of reaching 110-years-old are even more rare. Just one in 5 million.

Also in the article, Herlda attributes her personal clear mind to her social schedule. She goes out to lunches and dinners with her friends. She’s a fan of the Encore casino, and she also loves going to the movies, and traveling. Here’s the article if you would like to read more. It’s fascinating.

 

Cracking an intriguing secret of centenarians: Why so few are ravaged by Alzheimer's disease - The Boston Globe

Increasingly, scientists believe that genes, and not necessarily good habits, determine who lives past 100. But which genes?

Happy Birthday Herlda! Here are more interesting facts I found out about this incredible woman.

  • Herlda was a first in her family

    The unforgettable story of Herlda Senhouse: Wellesley's 111 year old | The Bradford

    Exit the high school building, head for the Brook Path, and keep walking on the path until Dana Hall is on your left. Look to your right, and you are now just feet away from the apartment building that houses the second oldest woman in New England.

    Herlda was born in Piedmont, West Virginia in 1911. She was sent to live with her aunt in Woburn when she was 16. She was the first person in her family to graduate high school in 1931, and was one of only two Black students in her class. Herlda graduated from Woburn High School.

  • Herlda founded Boston's Clique Club

    History & Hope: At 110, Herlda Senhouse shares life of music, activism and hope

    This month, Hearst Television is celebrating Black history by having courageous...

    The party also included longtime friends and dancers from the Boston Clique Club, a jazz dance group that Herlda founded in the 1950’s, which raised money to improve educational opportunities for Black students in Boston.

  • Her life changed drastically at the age of 6

    Herlda Senhouse

    Herlda Senhouse is an American supercentenarian, currently the second-oldest (known) living person in Massachusetts, USA.

    The youngest of nine siblings, Senhouse grew up in Piedmont, West Virginia. By the time she was six, her mother and father had both passed away. Senhouse came to Woburn, to live with her aunt and uncle, where she had a wonderful childhood filled with roller skating, hopscotch, marbles, and jump rope. 

  • Herlda has traveled the world

    At 110, Herlda Senhouse shares life of music, activism and hope

    The oldest resident of Wellesley, Massachusetts, is 110 years old and has stories you will want your children to hear and remember.

    Herlda is a traveler. Throughout her life, she traveled to Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Morocco, South Africa, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona. Her most recent trip was with her best friend to the Greek Isles, back in 2001.

  • Herlda originally wanted to be a nurse

    Herlda got married when she was 25 to William Senhouse, who died in 1989. She originally was interested in health care and wanted to be a nurse. Back then, she applied to what was then the Boston Medical Center’s nursing program, but was told they were only taking two Black applicants and that she didn’t need to apply. Because of that, she and William decided to work together as domestics. She worked for three different families as a cook, a cleaner, and a caretaker for children. At one point, she worked with her husband for a family where he was the chauffeur and she did the cooking.

  • She encourages young people to vote

    Herlda has been voting since 1936. This is six years old when she was 107, but the message is still the same. Get out and vote!

  • Herlda has great advice for a long life

    Woman celebrating her 110th birthday shares her secret to a long and happy life: Limit your stress

    A Massachusetts woman is celebrating her 110th birthday on Sunday.

    What’s Herlda’s secret to living a long, happy, and healthy life. In this article she says that we need to do our best to resolve issues. But it you can’t fix it, forget it, and let it go. She says that’s how you get through life. You have to limit the stress.

     

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