TWO CENTURIES OF LIVING: Whitley County residents mark their 100 birthdays

A pair of Whitley County residents will mark their 100th birthdays next week.GERTIE BROCKGertrude Brock is lovingly known as “Gertie” to all of her friends and family.She will turn 100 years old on Wednesday.Gertie was born in South Bend and went to school until she was 17 in the South Bend school system.She and her entire family are Notre Dame fans.Her grandfather, father and brother joined her in working at the Studebaker Corporation.“She worked in the file and mail room until 1933,” said Florence Linn, a daughter.“I liked it fine. I liked the fancy cars they built there,” said Gertie.She married Loyal Riley on March 4, 1933, the day before all of the banks closed during the Great Depression.Loyal died in 1951 and Gertie sold the farm and became a city girl again, living in South Whitley.Gertie married Bill Hare and he died in 1972.Her last husband was Russell Brock. He died in 1985.Gerte has lived at The Oaks for last four years.An open house is planned at The Oaks, Columbia City, Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.SNICK GAERTEEmanuel “Snick” Geiger is strong and can walk from room to room in his Churubusco farm house without much assistance. The Churubusco resident has proven not only his toughness over the years, but also his resilience. He has lived for the past four decades with no hands, as a result of two separate run-ins with a corn picker.Geiger was born Jan. 16, 1912 in Rome City.He married the love of his life, Mabel, on April 17, 1929. She died in 1996.Tragedy struck Geiger twice when he was picking corn.Snick lost his right hand in October 1962. Ten years later he lost is other hand doing the same thing.In 2009 he was honored at Old Settlers Days for the Oldest and Longest Continuous Whitley County resident.Snick is excited about turning 100 but doesn’t know what the secret to longevity is but one thing’s for sure, he is still strong and still knows how to tell a joke and make people feel happy.An open house is planned for him from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at the Churubusco Nazarene Church Christian Life Center, 1000 W. Whitley Street in Churubusco.Cards may be sent to Emanuel Geiger, 5289 N. 900 E., Churubusco, IN 46723.