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

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Ms. magazine: 20th Century Foxes
Interviews by Lynn Peters Adler, Founder and Director, National Centenarian Awareness Project
A Century of

Women

 

 Florence G. Riedel, 100

Florence G. Riedel, 100
Born: January 19, 1899; Medford, Mass.
Resides: Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Descendants: 1 child, 5 grand children, 3 great-grandchildren
Occupation: Accountant, Homemaker


Florence Riedel graduated from high school and then went to work in the accounting department of an insurance company until she married at the age of 32. After her husband died in 1953, Riedel took the civil service exam and went to work in the city hall in Melrose, Massachusetts. After retiring, she relocated to Martha's Vineyard to be near her daughter. She lived independently until last summer when she moved into an assisted living facility.

What was the most important thing that happened for women during this century? When I was growing up most women stayed home and raised their children. Getting the vote started to change all that. Now women are in the business world, the economic world.

How did it affect your life? Well, I went out and voted the minute we had the right to. It gave me the right to express my opinion on who I wanted to represent me. I had the right to make a choice. Also, because women were more involved in the workplace, I had the courage to go back out there after my husband died. The important part of all this is that women had the option to do whatever they wanted or needed to do. This was a real change for those of us who grew up when there were few options.

What advice would you give to girls today? Get as much education as you can, so you can take care of yourself. Go for a higher standard of behavior, of morality-and respect one another.

 

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