Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
On turning 100: A mix of gratefulness and pain, with plenty of memories
BY ENELLY BETANCOURT, Staff Writer
Love of family and music have kept Martha "Polly" Durand Deihl enjoying life.
Widowed with two children, she dotes on two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"I have lived a wonderful life, but age catches up with us eventually," she noted.
Deihl celebrated her 100th birthday Jan. 9 with a group of relatives at Calvary Fellowship Homes, where she lives.
On a recent morning, Deihl shared how she felt about turning 100.
"It hurts," she said, grinning. "My mother used to say she never knew so many places that could hurt all at once. That's how I feel."
Deihl is able to recall dates accurately without a second of hesitation.
Reflecting on her life, she said she doesn't know the secret to long life.
"I guess only the Lord knows why I'm here," Deihl said.
Faith, she said, is one of the factors that might have contributed to her long life.
"And I must have a good guardian angel," Deihl said.
In an instant, Deihl shared a word of advice.
"Have strong faith and believe in God. You have to anticipate that things are going to be fine," she said.
This centenarian is the younger of two sisters born Jan. 9, 1913, in Mount Holly, N.J., to George and Anna Durand.
She graduated from Trenton High School, then Rider College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in commercial science.
She worked as an executive secretary for several corporations.
Deihl sang in the Trenton Opera for a few years.
She married Irving Deihl, a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, in 1943. He later became a visitation minister at Highland Presbyterian Church.
He died in 2000.
Deihl loves to read and still belongs to a local book club.