Ninety is Just a Number

Elfin 91-year old Eunice Funk exudes the hospitality of a Southern belle, as befits her Carolinian roots. Sitting at arm’s length as we talk at her dining table is Ed, her youthful husband of 85. With the many losses Eunice has experienced in her life – including her mother at two years of age, her first husband, her daughter, and numerous others -- Ed’s steadfastness is a great comfort.

Eunice had always wanted to be a nurse, and finally attending nursing school at 37, enjoyed a gratifying thirty-year career as an L.P.N. Along the way she brought up three children and also provided a home to three teenaged grandchildren after the death of their mother, Eunice’s daughter.

Eunice focuses on activities that will keep her memory vibrant, including playing bingo with Ed, doing puzzles, listening to show tunes, and reading such favorite authors as Zane Grey and Nora Roberts.

Previously an expert crocheter of many beautiful afghans, Eunice now has arthritis in her hands. Frustrated that her hands are too twisted to continue her craft, she hopes eventually to be able to return to crocheting. She is not deterred by having to use a walker and wheelchair for mobility. “It’s a challenge,” she says. “It’s up to me what I do with what I have.”

Yet she doesn’t let obstacles get in her way. This past year with rolled up jeans and a straw hat she went fishing, one of her favorite pastimes, with her grandson Gary. She gets excited about holidays, especially Christmas, decorating her apartment joyfully for each season. She is extremely social and eager to go out with daughter Becky and granddaughter Jeannie when they visit.

The devotion between Ed and Eunice is palpable. “He’s so good to me, and I’m lucky to have him,” she says. Ed is just as grateful, adding, “I feel lucky to get her good night kiss.”

“Ninety is just a number,” Eunice sums up her positive outlook. “Don’t sit and worry about getting old. Enjoy life.”

Eunice Funk