By Melody Vallieu
TROY — Dorothy Laufer has kept herself busy — for 100 years.
The centenarian, who will turn 100 years old on Oct. 29, said keeping herself busy throughout her lifetime is the key to her longevity.
Today, Laufer, whose maiden name was Toller, continues to busy herself with exercising, crocheting and family time.
Born in Fort Loramie in 1918, Laufer was the second oldest of eight children. Her father worked in a machine shop and her mother stayed home to take care of the children. Laufer, who had to quit school after her freshman year to help care for her siblings, said she learned many skills from her mother, who canned, cooked and sewed for the family.
“I liked ironing and did a lot of sewing,” Laufer said.
Growing up, she was involved in 4-H, entering embroidery, crocheting and knitting projects in the county. To this day, Laufer cherishes a small vase she was awarded at the fair. She continues to crochet and knit, and previously used her skills to knit hats for soldiers in Desert Storm and for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office’s Operation Cover Up drive each year.
Laufer came to Troy at 19 as a nanny for a local doctor and was paid $10 per week. Several years later she worked for yet another doctor, receiving a bit of a raise at that job, she remembered. She later worked 10 years at Westbrook Laundry and worked at the Miles Jewelry Store during World War II.
She married her husband, Paul Laufer, a banker, and had three children, Caroline Whitacre of Lake Placid, Fla., Kathy McClelland of Troy, and James Laufer, who is deceased. She also has eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and said she enjoys spending time with family.
“I like all those little children and love spending time with family,” said Laufer, who also has a passion for gardening.
After retirment, the Laufers traveled, visiting California, Hawaii, the New England states and Florida. They also vacationed extensively through Europe, visiting most of the European countries.
“I was thankful that we could travel. I enjoyed the foods and seeing all of the sites,” said Laufer, who said she is thankful for family and friends. “I loved the German music.”
The life-long member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church was a former president of the Catholic Women’s Association and volunteered in the kitchen and as a home room mother at the school. She also was a Cub and Girl Scout leader.
The 10o year old still plays bridge once a month, and at one time was in seven card clubs. She also was a member of the Troy Senior Citizens Center until she was 98 years old, playing cards there up to three times a week.
Known for her cooking and baking — especially zucchini bread cookies she often shared — Laufer now enjoys dining out, counting Harrison’s in Tipp City and Hussys in Port Jefferson among her favorites.
Laufer, who is healthy shy of macular degeneration in her eyes and is hard of hearing, still lives in her own home.
“As long as I can stay in my home, I will,” said Laufer, who exercises by walking throughout her house each day.
She will celebrate her milestone birthday with family and friends — and her beloved carrot cake. Friends are invited to send cards in recognition of her 100th as well.