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Fabulous Fay turns 100

Posted: August 14, 2008 8:50 p.m.
Updated: October 16, 2008 5:01 a.m.

From left to right, Wendy Poore, Fay Huebsch, Sally More and Megan Poor - four generations celebrate Fay's 100th birthday.

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In the penthouse of a Santa Monica oceanside condo Fay Huebsch welcomed family and friends to celebrate a special birthday. Huebsch was born on Aug. 8, 1908 in Chicago, Ill. Her 100th birthday party also brought together four generations of women to celebrate the centennial of the family matriarch.
Wendy Poore, of Canyon Country, said her grandmother is an extraordinary woman.

"She's 100, but she exercises every day," Poore said.

Huebsch credits her longevity to a variety of factors.

"Watch your diet, when I started to get fat, I got interested in learning about food values - and I learned to watch what I eat," Huebsch said.

Huebsch's daughter, Sally More, said for her mother, diet, exercise and mental stimulation contribute to her health.

"Not only is she very careful of what she eats, but she also exercises every day and tries to keep her mind as active as she can," More said. "She does the Sunday crossword puzzle every week and she plays a really good game of bridge."

Huebsch said she believes exercise is one of the most important components to aging gracefully.

"I exercise every day. Mostly I do stretching exercises. I stretch on the floor, in a chair - I even stretch my toes, I wiggle them and I turn my ankles. You should do that, too," she said. "I believe exercise is great for you body and your soul. One of my friends said one day, ‘Even if the building were on fire Fay would still exercise.' Exercise gets your blood circulating, it's great."

In addition to diet and exercise Huebsch said she is curious about everything.

"I love to learn. I get the calendar from UCLA at the beginning the semester and if there is a lecture with a good speaker and a good subject I sign up for it," she said.

Despite a lifetime of learning Huebsch said she still is trying to learn to cook.

"I would love to know how to cook, I'm still trying," Huebsch said.

One of her great loves is bridge.

"I'm pretty good at it and I enjoy playing bridge," she said.

Born just two years after the 1906 San Fernando Earthquake, Huebsch has lived through WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, Vietnam and now Iraq.

She has seen the development of modern automobiles, silent movies, talkies, radio, television, the microwave, the computer and cellphones.

Huebsch was born when Teddy Roosevelt was in office. In her lifetime there have been 18 U.S. presidents: Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt (FDR), Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and the current President Bush.

Yet, when asked what is the most amazing thing she's seen in her life she is quick to reply... "the birth of a child."

More said her mother has never been afraid of change.

"She was always interested in what was new," More said. "She's got a computer. I know a lot of people in their 60s who won't get a computer. When she first got the computer she learned to play online computer bridge, She was very much in demand as a player."

Huebsch's daughter More is an accomplished artist who recently had a two month show of her work at a gallery in Santa Monica.

An artistic streak runs through this family of accomplished women. In her early years Huebsch had a flair for acting, said More.

"At that time though, it wasn't considered a respectable career," More said.

More credits her mother with taking her to her first art lesson.

"I really wanted to study art, but my father wasn't too thrilled with the idea," she said. "But she took me to downtown Chicago and found me an art teacher and it was a good thing for me. It gave me a routine in life that was about something for which I cared."

Huebsch's granddaughter, Poore, is a second grade teacher in the Sulphur Springs School District, who also has artistic leanings. She holds a degree in theater and crafts stunningly beautiful jewelry in her spare time.

Poore said the women in the family have always had a sense of "self."

"I grew up with wonderful, amazing role models for women," she said. "The women in my family stand out.
They are all very independent women who have included wonderful men in their lives, but they are still whole people on their own. My great-great grandmother was also an amazingly strong woman."

Poore said it wasn't necessary to install that sense of independence in her daughter, Megan Poore, 23.

"Megan has always had a mind of her own," Poore said. "But that's who Megan is and I'm so proud of her strength and her willing to go after what she sees as important."

Megan Poore has also studied acting and is looking forward to a career in film editing.

Wendy Poore and husband Dennis, have lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 20 years.

They are also the parents of Tim, 26, who is a third year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco.

"Tim, he showed me what being a mother was all about," she said. "I've learned more, laughed more, cried more, I've felt every emotion under the sun from being a mother - it's the best thing I've ever done."

Poore said the closeness of her family is something she treasures - she speaks to her grandmother nearly every day.

"My grandmother and I spend at least one day of the week together - and have for most of my entire life," she said. "We either go shopping or to lunch or just spend time together. It is interesting how life moves in a circle. When I was young my grandmother would come and get me. Once I was older we would meet in the middle somewhere and now I go and get her every Saturday."

More said it was always important to let her family just be who they were.

"We're all strong women and we all admire each other's strength," More said.

Megan Poore said among the qualities she admires most in her great-grandmother is her spunk.

"She's the spunkiest woman I've ever known," she said.


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