Monday, October 22 , 2018, 1:53 am | Fair 63º


Two Local Residents to Celebrate 101st Birthdays

Elfriede Schewe and Helen Terry will mark their milestones at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital

Local residents Elfriede Schewe and Helen Terry, both residing at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital, soon will celebrate their 101st birthdays.

Schewe will mark her birthday Feb. 17, and Terry will celebrate March 15. Both will be surrounded by family and friends at separate events at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital.

Schewe was born in Peterswalde, Germany, in 1909. Her parents owned an inn there, and her father was Buergermeister (mayor) of the town.

She had six siblings, three of which died during Schewe’s youth. At the beginning of World War II, what was left of her family fled to Berlin with what they could carry, leaving all of the daughters’ dowries behind.

Schewe immigrated to the United States in 1950 and became a citizen in 1956. Most of her immediate family also immigrated. She and her family lived in Los Angeles until 1994, when she and her sisters moved to Santa Barbara in search of a location similar to their hometown of Peterswalde.

When a fall led to a broken hip and Schewe’s remaining sister suffered a stroke, they moved together into an assisted-living facility. A mutual decline led both sisters to move to Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital, where they could receive more comprehensive care. Schewe has outlived all of her siblings.

She said she is grateful for the compassionate staff who cares for her, and although communication is difficult for her at times because she has reverted to her native German tongue, her indomitable spirit keeps her lively and positive.

Terry was born in 1909 to John and Marietta Bartlett Neville. Josiah Bartlett, a distant ancestor of Terry’s mother, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1914, Terry and her two sisters moved to Los Angeles with their parents. She married LeRoy Terry on June 1, 1927. They started married life in Compton, but after the 1933 earthquake in Long Beach damaged their home, they moved to Bellflower. It was there that the Terrys raised their two sons and started a small chicken ranch.

In 1942, the Terry family moved to Artesia to expand their chicken ranch and begin raising rabbits.

In 1948. they moved to Goleta to manage and operate the then-privately owned campground El Capitan Resort. In 1955, the state of California bought the land from the owners and it is now the El Capitan State Beach campground.

Terry worked as a saleswoman for Harris and Frank’s men’s store in Santa Barbara, then as an assembler at Western Design in Goleta, wiring many different kinds of machines. In 1967, she and her husband bought a large mobile home in the Santa Barbara West trailer park in Ellwood.

Terry’s husband of nearly 71 years died in 1998. She stayed in her home until she required help with her daily living. She came to the Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital in 2006.

Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital is a 68-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that has been family owned and operated since 1963. Click here for more information.

— Charmie Holehouse is the activities director for Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital.

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