Family Gathers at DeGraff Adult Day Care for Ada’s 105th Birthday

Updated: 12/2/2011
From left to right: Wesley Baes, Gene Baes, Ada Baes, and Shane Baes.

Born on November 30, 1906 to John and Emma Turrell, young Ada was raised on a farm in Wolcottsville, NY.  She was a “good” student and after graduating from Akron High School, she worked on the line at a local canning factory, later moving into a clerical position at the plant.  It was there that a friend told her about the opportunities opening for elementary school teachers.  She earned her teaching certificate and taught in a one room school house in the small town of Swift Mills for two years.  After her marriage to Roland Baes, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree from Buffalo State College.  She taught third grade at Colonial Village for twenty years.

Ada has two sons, Wesley and Gene, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  Gene describes his mother as a “hard worker who was always up early each day and went to bed late each night.  She was a good mother who pretty much raised us on her own.  Her life was hard, but I never remember her getting angry about anything.”  Gene adds that his mother never had an enemy and everyone seemed to love her.  She was very out-going and enjoyed being around people.  “She is a very strong Christian woman.  I think that is what got her through the hard times.  I remember her always singing her favorite songs from church as she did her work.”   As a Sunday school teacher, she was able to pass her deep faith onto others.  She was also a Cub Scout den mother for a number of years.  Her son fondly remembers that she loved to bake, especially chocolate chip cookies and apple pies.   When Ada retired from teaching, she volunteered at the Dale Association Senior Center, working at the reception desk for nearly 20 years.

Ada has been attending DeGraff Adult Day Care since June 2010.  “We are so glad that we have been able to provide Ada with the assistance that she needs and the socialization that she loves”, says Marlene Marciniak, manager of the program.  “But, perhaps even more importantly, we have been able to help Eugene keep his mother home where she is continuing to thrive.”   Gene notes, “She is a little frailer than she used to be, but she still has many good days. My mother didn’t ever go to see a doctor until she was 90 years old, and then she had to go because she had pneumonia!  I think she has made it to 105 years old because of her hard work, strong faith and her positive attitude.  I hope to keep her at home for as long as I can!”  And, what does Ada have to say about living a full life? “Always be helpful to others and others will be helpful to you!”  Good words to live by….