National Centenarian Awareness Project
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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

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Margaret "Peg" Williams, 100

Excerpts from
"Centenarian artist attributes longevity to the single life"
Gail McCarthy
Gloucester Daily News

Margaret “Peg” Williams, who turned 100 (recently), shared her centennial as the center of attention at a party attended by artists, writers, political activists, merchants and many others. Stories of her charm and spirit flow easily from her friends and neighbors, who share a close-knit neighborhood ...
       Williams, a watercolor painter with an unusual design background, beginning with her early career designing Aubusson rugs, was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the Flatbush section of New York City’s Brooklyn neighborhood. She attended the Pratt Institute of Art in New York City.
       Between the dozens of greetings, Williams talked about her family. She admired the work of her father, Orville P. Williams, considered a top political cartoonist of the 20th century. He depicted political events and issues during the Depression, Prohibition and the two world wars.
       ...When asked to what she attributes her longevity, she commented that she never married. But she traveled the world and found great companionship with her beloved dachshunds, through which she met many friends, who also shared an affinity for dogs.
       “They were the love of my life,” she said, especially her last dog, Tess.
       A close friend remembered that if tourists left their dogs locked in a parked car, they might be sorry.
       “Peg would think nothing of throwing a bucket of water through the slightly open window to cool the poor darling down,” she said.
       ...“I love the outdoors...,” Williams said. “I’m not a city person, really.”
       She was an avid rock climber and champion tennis player. As a girl she played field hockey and rode horses.
       “I can’t complain about my life,” she said while seated on a plush couch in her neighbor’s home, surrounded by friends, fresh flowers, birthday cards, food and gifts.
       Roger Armstrong, owner of State of the Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, is a Williams aficionado.
       “She’s one of my favorite women in the world,” he said.
       For several years, Williams has gone up in a cherry-picker truck to place the star on top of the town’s Christmas tree.
       “The town provides the bucket loader to put the star at the top, but I think the loader was for show because she could climb up there if she wanted to,” Armstrong said. “She’s a hugely independent woman, who has a magnificent and varied past. She’s always very upbeat. People who live that long, and do that well, have to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook. That is key.”      


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