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By MICHAEL BOYD JR.
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
On Sept. 9, 1923, Janet (Hauck) Hutson, Wonita Greminger, Warren Eisenbeis and Odell Stanton all entered the world kickin’ and screamin.’
So, 100 years ago in this historic town of Ste. Genevieve, long before the local hospital was built, the four were born.
But only Hutson would make it to 100 years old.
Now living in Festus, Hutson celebrated her 100th birthday with a big party among many family members and close friends.
So, what is her secret to longevity?
“Take life as it comes,” she said. “If you have any problems, solve them. If you don’t, be happy.”
Hutson was the baby of her family, the only sister among three boys.
She later married Harry A. Hutson Jr. and would leave school in doing so. Mr. Hutson lived to be 95, himself, passing on Oct. 10, 2017. Together they have a son, Richard “Dick” Hutson of Festus.
Hutson loves to talk about her husband, a former bank board member and a water district board member, while she was talking with the Herald.
She also reminisced about the days when children could go any where without fear and kids would play outside for hours.
For Hutson, herself, there are not too many people around the Midwest who live to be 100 anymore, although the number is slowly rising.
Hutson can say she made it to 100 when several famous celebrities died at 99, such as Rev. Billy Graham, Betty White, Bob Barker, United Kingdom’s Prince Phillip (Queen Elizabeth II’s husband), Za Za Gabor and basketball coaching legend John Wooden to name a few.
Hutson was born at her home, since Ste. Genevieve did not have a hospital at the time.
Hutson has lived through several major events in U.S. and world history during her century-long life. Most notably, Prohibition, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and World War II, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the Cold War, plus a few other things.
The Ford Model T’s were still popular during her early childhood days.
Hutson said her favorite time was when she was growing up. She loved hanging out with the Ernst family (founder of the Herald newspaper) and spending days and nights over there.
There also are a few not-so-great things to being 100, according to Hutson.
“I’m always looking for someone in Ste. Genevieve that I was friends with,” Hutson said, “and I never can come up with anybody. All my friends are gone.
I’ve had to make all new friends. I counted that I had 42 first cousins and there are only two of us left. Plus it’s one thing after another with your health. I’m not going to lie, your legs give out, your eyes, you have a lot of problems at this age.”
But, Hutson all the good things outweigh those bad things, however. She’s still driving, she laughed.
“The great thing is I do have a family all around here,” she said. “My husband and I had 20 acres, and we have eight families of ours living here. We have four grandchildren and then we have a group of great grandchildren, and then great-great grandchildren. We’ve got five generations there. Plus, all our nieces and nephews. It’s a lot of fun.”
Hutson said she got birthday cards and letters from both former President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, as well as current Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.
Hutson said she is just happy to be living and seeing family. She’s seen a lot in her days, and has enjoyed a lot of it.