Shelley Provenza, left, and Kay Hendershot, right, of Quirky Girls Coffee and Bake Shop, hold up the cake they made for Dorothy Parpart, of Fraser, on her 100th birthday celebration Feb. 12 at the Fraser Senior Center.

Shelley Provenza, left, and Kay Hendershot, right, of Quirky Girls Coffee and Bake Shop, hold up the cake they made for Dorothy Parpart, of Fraser, on her 100th birthday celebration Feb. 12 at the Fraser Senior Center.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Fraser woman celebrates 100th birthday

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 7, 2018

 Parpart celebrates by playing her favorite card game, pinochle.

Parpart celebrates by playing her favorite card game, pinochle.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

FRASER — It’s been a long journey for Dorothy Parpart, and the 100-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down.

On Feb. 12, Parpart celebrated her personal century mark with family and friends at the Fraser Senior Center. 

She’s seen a lot in her life, and has experienced even more. She has two daughters, one son who lives in Florida, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The day before her senior center celebration, her entire family threw her a party. She called it a “beautiful time.”

Parpart is the oldest of nine children from Detroit who grew up in a home on Canfield Street. She’s actually the last one remaining, though all of her siblings enjoyed long lives. Her brothers used to take her to dance halls in her youth.

“I used to walk downtown on Gratiot, my sister and I, and we had a good time,” she said.

Parpart last drove in October 2015, but she remains quite active. She plays bingo three times per week and pinochle three times per week. Every once in a while, she’ll make a trip to the hospital, but her mind remains sharp. Her family members drive her places, and she sees her grandchildren quite often.

Daughter Pat Wisniewski recalled how her mother used to board buses downtown at the cost of a single dime. She joked that she could see her mom living to be 120 years old, to which Dorothy responded, “Oh, you think so?”

“She’s just lived a long, happy life,” Wisniewski said. “She’s very practical, takes every day as it comes and does exactly what she wants to do.”

Dorothy’s other daughter, Toni Whalen, mentioned the time she spends with her family — even babysitting grandchildren up to the point when she couldn’t drive herself anymore.

“She’s very active, she’s very involved with her great-grandkids, her grandkids,” Whalen said. “In many parents, you don’t see that anymore.”