Family joins El Cajon mother for 100th birthday

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A first generation German, she was conceived in Germany, born in Chicago, and raised in Wisconsin. Her parents immigrated by way of the S.S. George Washington to make their way to Ellis Island in 1912. Both parents spoke German and her mother Hungarian also. As borders in Europe were different a century ago, she was born somewhere around the Black Forest area.

A first generation German, she was conceived in Germany, born in Chicago, and raised in Wisconsin. Her parents immigrated by way of the S.S. George Washington to make their way to Ellis Island in 1912. Both parents spoke German and her mother Hungarian also. As borders in Europe were different a century ago, she was born somewhere around the Black Forest area.

Catherine Reichert turned 100 on June 26, a long time resident of El Cajon, her family here in San Diego County and across the country flew in to celebrate it with her. After a large family gathering over the weekend, on her birthday they held a party for her, inviting the residents of Stanford Court where she now lives in Santee.

Reichert said the secret to making it to 100 is, “family, faith, cooking with bacon grease and German beer.”

Her daughter, Jeanette Curran lives in El Cajon with her husband Tom. She said her mother has been a resident at Stanford Court for nearly a year now, coming in shortly after her 99th birthday. She said her mother is the first in the family to make it to her 100th birthday and is still sharp, even after living with a pacemaker for eight years.

“Having her still with us today is such a blessing,” she said. “She has two children, and between my brother and I, 13 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, one great-great-great grandchild and one on the way.”

After her husband died, Curran said after going back and forth for a while, her mother decided that this was the place to live, especially during the winter due to her arthritis. A long time resident of El Cajon now, Curran said she goes to Stanford Court every day.

Jackie Meiborg, granddaughter said Reichert’s son is from Freeport, IL, and family flew in from Ohio, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri to meet the rest here in San Diego County so they could all be together to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday.

The family spent the Sunday before celebrating a big German birthday, complete with most of her family, an Oom-pah band, German food and her favorite—German beer.

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