CORNING, NY (WETM) — Eileen Hultzman entered the thin air on Sunday, turning 100 years old. Born and raised in Corning, New York, she joins the nearly 100,000 centenarians in the US
Hultzman is no stranger to the area; she has lived in the same house all her life and she loves the local community.
Eileen’s parents, Mary and Frank, came to Corning via Toronto after she and her family fled the potato famine in Ireland. Frank’s family has lived in America since the 1800s. After being married in 1910, they had seven children and Eileen is the youngest and the only surviving sibling of the family.
Mother and daughter reunite after being separated for over 50 years and living just 25 minutes apart
Eileen had a long career in the payroll department of Corning Glass Works, now Corning Incorporated.
“Corning is the most beautiful place to live,” says Hultzman. “Corning Incorporated is great. I spent 43 years with Corning Inc. and about four years ago I received my 75 year old pin. If God allows it and I can go for another year, I’ll get my 80-year-old pin from Corning.”
Eileen and other family members have more than 400 years of combined service with the company. Her grandfather helped blow the first light bulbs.
Although she was cheerful, the road to 100 was not an easy one.
“I’ve had cancer 14 times,” Hultzman said. “I never had chemo and the only time I had radiation was for my chest” [cancer].”
She has not only conquered cancer, but also COVID-19. Although she has faced many physical challenges, her mind is sharp as ever.
Eileen shared how she lived so long with a huge grin on her face.
“Because I’m not married and I don’t have kids,” Hultzman said. “Try to take care of yourself. I have never smoked or drank alcoholic beverages. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not, but smoking probably would. Take care of yourself. Be sure to monitor your health closely.”
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A common question: what is the meaning of life? For Eileen, it’s simple.
“Love each other and try to get along,” Hultzman said. “[Regardless of] nationalities, race and everything else, people should try to get along. Life is short. It took a long time for me, but it’s not for everyone. I would advise people to try to pray more and perhaps ask for God’s help. ”
We’re ready to see Eileen again when she turns 101 and gets her 80-year-old pin from Corning next year.