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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 1:31 am | Fair 50º


Elfriede Schewe of Santa Barbara Celebrates 102nd Birthday

She immigrated to California from Germany with her family in 1950

Local resident Elfriede Schewe, who resides at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital, celebrated her 102nd birthday on Feb. 17.

She was surrounded by family and friends at a party held at the facility.

Schewe was born in Peterswalde, Germany, in 1909, where her parents owned an inn and her father was Buergermeister (mayor) of the town. She had six siblings, three of whom 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 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 more 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, and celebrated her 102nd birthday with her friends at Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital.

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

— Haley Anderson represents Santa Barbara Convalescent Hospital.

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