Eilert celebrates 100 year birthday

One shouldn’t ask a woman her age but Kathryn Eilert’s four children, ten grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren were telling. The matriarch of their family was 99 and a half years old, that rounds up to 100 and a celebration was in order.

With the actual 100th birthday in January, it was decided that July was the time to celebrate. As daughter Rosie Bosse explained, “The weather in January is usually not the best.”

Kathryn Gallagher was born to Joseph and Catherine Gallagher on January 9, 1917 on the family farm west and south of Jewell. Her birth was in the west ground floor bedroom of the farmhouse now called home by her son Joe, his wife Kerry and their family. She was born in the same bed she still sleeps in at Hilltop Lodge’s Assisted Living where she now makes her home.

She was married on October 24, 1950 to Francis “Ike” Eilert. They lived on the farm where she was born with their four children: Mary DeBey, Topeka; Rosie Bosse (Joe), Onaga; Connie Mushrush (Armon) Strong City and Joe Eilert (Kerry) of rural Jewell.

When a guest mentioned that she had a wonderful family she quickly said “I had a good husband.” Sadly, their marriage was cut short in 1975 by his death in a farm accident. After his death, Kathryn continued on the farm, teaching school and finishing the task of rearing their children.

Hilltop Lodge of Beloit was the scene for Eilert’s birthday celebration held on Sunday, July 10. She enjoyed the event, smiling and chatting with the many friends and family who came to honor her. 

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