“I’m getting old-er, and old-er, and old-er. And I like it.” Mavis Dupree says with a giggle.

Mavis Dupree is the mother of two blog friends, sisters Phyllis Platte and Patty Petersen. Their mother reached her 94th birthday in February this year.




Mother Mavis had a lyrical soprano voice and enjoyed singing all her life, a soloist at weddings and funerals. She loved people and any kind of social interaction. In a Facebook video her daughter Phyllis recorded a few months ago, Mavis revealed how aging feels to her. Catch the humor—and the enthusiasm—in her voice.


My mother, Ruth Metzler Longenecker, and Phyllis’ and Patty’s mother, Mavis Hayes Dupree, never met. One a Northerner, the other from the Deep South. However, each mother reached the advanced age of ninety—and both have gone beyond that milestone, joining a demographic that is statistically increasing.

It’s true, the two nonagenarians don’t share geography or family background. My mother’s lineage is Swiss-German while Mavis’ maiden and married names suggest English and French origins. My mother Ruth was born and bred in the farmland of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Mavis Dupree, born in Ozark, Alabama, lived most of her life in Florida, where she raised her family.

Yet one thing they have had had in common: a zest for life and a strong faith in God. Growing older is not for sissies, and both have boldly–and with grace–embraced the inevitable changes.

Like my mother, Phyllis’ mother has had her share of physical challenges in recent years, and she would probably agree with this anonymous quote found on my friend Jenn’s website:

I really don’t mind getting older…but my body is taking it badly.

But I bet she’d probably say it with a chuckle!


Mavis passed away just a few weeks ago and leaves behind a grieving family. She also leaves a loving legacy–a peppy disposition; joyous service to her church, teaching Sunday School classes; and amazing friendships with family and friends.


A week before she died, my mother Ruth drove to Bossler Mennonite the Sunday prior and celebrated her 96th birthday at lunch with a church friend that week. She prided herself in being able to stay in her own home, the house where I grew up near Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

This is my mother’s birthday week. If she were alive, she’d be turning 104 on July 23 this year. Obviously, this is a nostalgic week for me as I vicariously travel back to re-visit one of many occasions we were together at her home on Anchor Road. Recently, I found a postcard commemorating her visit to our Florida home sitting at the breakfast table one morning. It’s dated January 11, 2001.



They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green.       ~ Psalm 92:14, NIV

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.         ~ Psalm 116:15



To catch a glimpse of Mother’s and Mavis’ current residence, see the video here.

Photograph, courtesy of C. Joel Beaman, Mother’s grandson




How do you honor the remembrance of loved ones you miss?