Turning 100, Mary Frantz touts coffee and hard work
BY ENELLY BETANCOURT, Staff Writer
Mary Frantz is 100 years old today, and she will make sure you know about it when you meet her.
"I am 100 years old," Frantz said with confidence and a smile.
Frantz still loves a good party, and she will have plenty of it as her family gathers at Lancashire Hall -- where she lives -- to mark the occasion.
What is her secret to living a long life?
"Coffee and hard work," Frantz said.
Frantz is happy to share her life's stories with those who want to listen.
She has weathered a lot of changes.
When this centenarian was born, women didn't have the right to vote and there was no TV, no computer and no Internet.
Frantz was born in Chambersville, in Indiana County, on Feb. 2, 1913. She is the middle child of nine children born to Carlo Fantauzzo and Nancy Infantino, from Grotte, Sicily.
She grew up in the Lower Burrell in Westmoreland County. The family then moved to a farm in Bethlehem.
"I worked so hard all my life," she says. "It was a big family and we even had some boarders.''
She remembers doing all the cooking and cleaning, and washing the clothes.
"I had to have been about 12 years old," Frantz said. "But I didn't mind. ... I would just sing all the time.''
"I had to look after everybody, so I was lucky I never got sick," she said.
She married George Frantz Sr. in 1951, and they raised two sons. Her husband died in 1989.
The early lessons learned on the farm kept her active the rest of her life.
"She never sat down to watch television or anything. ... She always kept busy," her son the Rev. George Frantz Jr. said.
She moved to Lancaster County in 1990. She was a member of the choir and active at Bible Baptist Church in Akron, where her son is the pastor.
She is quick to talk about what she thought was the greatest invention of her time: the washing machine.
"The first washer we had was called Gainaday. I was so happy because I didn't have to use the washboard anymore," she said with a smile.
Frantz also recalled heating an iron over the fire or the stove to iron the clothes.
"I got so tired of doing it that way, so I went and got an electric one," she said with a laugh.
Frantz is the grandmother of five and great-grandmother of seven. She has managed her health well and takes no prescription medication. Frantz uses her wheelchair most of the time but can still get around without it.
Her words to live by are, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last," by Charles Thomas Studd.
Frantz loves roast beef, mashed potatoes and Italian food. Her hobbies included cooking, baking, sewing, gardening and doing word puzzles.