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Happy 103rd Birthday!

SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP — There was a very special birthday celebration Wednesday for a woman marking quite the milestone in Lackawanna County, 103 years.

Esther Keisling worked until she was 90, rode a jet ski at age 100 and still weeds the garden at her personal care facility at 103.

In Esther’s 103 years, she has seen a lot but this was a surprise.

“This is a very special day and not just because WNEP is here.  It’s because our own beloved Esther Keisling is celebrating her 103rd birthday today.”

Elan Gardens Personal Care Facility near Clarks Summit had one surprise after another for Esther and she was overwhelmed from the start.

“I am so overcome with this whole thing now that I can’t think straight,” she said.

She was excited to get some flowers after decades of gardening and of course it’s not a birthday party without a big cake and a song.

Esther Keisling lived half of her 103 years in Scranton, half in Ohio.  She worked in accounting until age 90, and more than a decade later is still full of energy.

“Make a wish? Oh, I have wishes all day long.”

Even she can’t believe she made it to 103.

“I never thought it, no, but I think I am getting older, though because they’re making me use a walker now and I never thought I’d get that far,” she said.

But she rode a jet ski three years ago, and still is a fierce competitor in video game bowling.

“I try to beat the men,” she laughed.

Esther does the weeding and tends to the gardens and flower bed outside the facility.

“Just love people, no hatred,” she said.” Accept everybody as an individual.”

“Aunt Esther is simply an inspiration to all of us,” said her grandniece Linda Umerich.  “She is just incredible and we just truly enjoy having her celebrate family occasions with us.”

Her family and friends were thrilled to mark this special day with her.

“We hope you will be here for many, many years and, really, the honor is all ours.”

“I’ll be here as long as I can,” Esther said, laughing.



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