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Blowing out 100 birthday candles in Poulsbo

POULSBO — Great-great-grandmother, seamstress, chocoholic... And soon Gertrude Beebe will have another title to add to the list — centenarian.

The Poulsbo resident will mark her 100th birthday Aug. 11.

Beebe grew up in a time when the horse and buggy was everyday transportation, a popular evening entertainment was watching her family’s coal furnace and many people didn’t even have a high school education.

Of all the changes in the world over the course of her life, though, she said the most amazing one is still the invention of the automobile.

“I can remember the first car I ever saw, I think it was called a Brush,” she explained.

Born in Wisconsin, Beebe has been a Poulsbo resident off and on for many years since the 1950s. She and husband Ralph first came to Washington when one of their two sons was stationed at the Bremerton Naval Base and she remembers immediately liking the Puget Sound with one exception.

“The only thing I didn’t like, and I don’t to this day, is all of the hills because (in the midwest) it’s so flat, you know,” she said.

Beebe lives with granddaughter Ginelle Todd in an upstairs bedroom with a bright sun deck and a beautiful view of Liberty Bay. She has bright a smile and a contagious laugh that she shares with everyone around her, especially 15-month-old great-grandson, Jacob, who visits her every Tuesday.

“We always have a lot of fun, don’t we?” She said to Jacob as he gnawed a cookie she produced from her cupboard.

Though her eyesight isn’t what it used to be, Beebe is still able to enjoy the

flowers outside her bedroom window, watch her favorite television programs including “The Price is Right,” and play cards.

When asked what she wants for her birthday, Beebe shrugged but Todd spoke up.

“She told my cousin she wants lots and lots of chocolate,” Todd said.

“Yeah, I’ve always liked chocolate,” Beebe said with a laugh.

Many of Beebe’s 13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren will travel across the country to celebrate her birthday this weekend. Beebe said the biggest thing she’s looking forward to is blowing out the candles and getting a taste of her chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling.

“Mmm, my favorite,” she said when Todd reminded her what flavor her cake would be.

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