ST. MARYS — Alfrieda L. Wessel celebrated her 103rd birthday on May 7, 2011. In her honor an open house was held last Sunday, May 8th, at the Golden Living Center-Valley.She was born May 7, 1908 in Auglaize County to H.W.J. and Emma Quellhorst. She is the oldest of six children. Her siblings included four brothers, Richard Quellhorst, Clifford Quellhorst, Alton Quellhorst and Roger Quellhorst; and one sister, Cordy McDermitt. They are all deceased.Wessel grew up on a farm and remembers her father taking the kids to school by a horse and sleigh in the winter, and picking up neighbors along the way. The first president she remembers is Woodrow Wilson. There have been 15 presidents since. She left school at an early age, which was not uncommon for those years, as families needed help on the farm and caring for young children.At age 16 she started work at Kuenzel Mills in New Bremen.She met Earl “Heinie” Wessel on June 20, 1927. On their first date they decided to marry two years later on that date. They were married June 20, 1929. Wessel recalls their rent for their first house was $6 per month. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1979. Earl passed away in 1980.Wessel loved walking. She lived on Chestnut Street, so it was convenient to walk to pay bills, which she still did at 88 years of age. She walked the “walk with nature” many times. She never had an automatic washer or dryer. She still used a wringer washer until she was 90 years old. She loved hanging laundry outside every Monday usually by 8 a.m. During winter, the laundry was hung in the basement. During her marriage she did housecleaning for some people. She worked with her husband as custodian at the high school for two years. At 95 years of age, Alfrieda had cataract surgery and that was a blessing. She enjoys reading newsletters from St. Paul's United Church of Christ, New Bremen Historical Association and The Evening Leader.She loved her home and never complained about cleaning, although at times it could be lonely. At age 97, with doctor's orders, she has made her home at Golden Living Center -Valley. It was a good decision and she commented it was nice to know there was help when there was the need. She is an avid Bingo player and enjoys the different entertainment the Valley offers. She also enjoys watching T.V.When asked about her longevity, she simply said, working hard, saying prayers every day and treating people nice.She has two sons, James (Eileen) Wessel and Geary Wessel; and one daughter, Mary Ann (James) Rempe, II. She has 11 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 20 great-great-grandchildren. One daughter-in-law, Betty Wessel, and two great-grandchildren are deceased.