‘Life is meant to be lived’: Community turns out to celebrate Margaret Mohr’s 101st birthday

  • Mayor Nicole LaChapelle reads a proclamation from the city to Margaret Mohr in celebration of her 101st birthday. STAFF PHOTO/EMILY THURLOW

  • Margaret “Marge” Mohr celebrated her 101st birthday with the help of the community. STAFF PHOTO/EMILY THURLOW

  • Lainey Wood, left, organized a birthday parade for her “Gram” Margaret Mohr ‘s 101st birthday. STAFF PHOTO/EMILY THURLOW

  • More than a dozen cars paraded down Overlook Drive to wish Margaret Mohr a happy 101st birthday. The parade also included a police SUV and firetruck courtesy of the Easthampton Police and Fire departments. STAFF PHOTO/EMILY THURLOW

  • State Rep. Dan Carey reads a citation from the House of Representatives to Margaret Mohr in recognition of her 101st birthday. STAFF PHOTO/EMILY THURLOW

Staff Writer
Published: 3/5/2022 8:15:09 PM
Modified: 3/5/2022 8:14:33 PM

EASTHAMPTON — With horns honking, sirens blaring and a hubbub of laughter and shouts, members of the community helped ring in one city woman’s 101st birthday. 

Margaret “Marge” Mohr turned 101 years young on Friday but was celebrated by friends and family as well as state and local officials on Saturday afternoon with a surprise parade in her neighborhood. 

Before the parade, Mohr’s niece, Janet Baron of Southampton, went up the line of cars collecting signatures for an oversized card. Cars lined up along Hendrick Street and paraded up Bernie Avenue and then to Overlook Drive where Mohr resides. 

With a blanket wrapped over her lap, sitting in the comfort of the passenger side of a vehicle parked in front of her home, Mohr watched as an SUV from Easthampton Police followed by a firetruck from Easthampton Fire ushered more than a dozen vehicles past her home. Some were toting signs and balloons and a few paused to deliver a bouquet or basket of flowers. 

“Wow,” she whispered softly as she took the moment in. 

Standing beside her simultaneously filming the event and naming people in each car to Mohr as they passed by was Lainey Wood, who organized the birthday parade. Last year, Wood asked if members of the Police and Fire departments would sing to Mohr — and they did. 

“We wanted to do something different and fun,” she said. “How many times do you turn 101?”

Wood helps take care of Mohr and the two reside with Mohr’s daughter, Judith Biardi and her husband Robert Biardi. To Wood, Mohr is “Gram,” as Wood’s late boyfriend was Mohr’s grandson. 

Once the motorcade completed its tour, a gathering of people assembled around Mohr in her vehicle, handing her flowers and cards, and offering up well-wishes and hugs. Among the visitors was former Easthampton Mayor Michael Tautznik, state Rep. Dan Carey, D-Easthampton, and Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. 

In celebrating the milestone, Carey presented Mohr with a citation from the House of Representatives and LaChapelle presented her with a proclamation from the city as well as a cupcake. 

The proclamation noted Mohr’s longtime background as a seamstress, having been employed for a number of years at the former Lesnow’s Manufacturing Co. 

Roughly three times a week, Mohr can be found playing — and usually winning, according to her family — at card games like Sevens. She also looks forward to getting her hair done once a week and her nails once a month. 

She credits her longevity to her family. 

“They clean up all the rooms — maybe that’s why I’ve lived so long,” she chuckled, with a big smile soaking in the crowd of people. “But really, the secret? … Surround yourself with people, friends and family. … Life is meant to be lived, so live it.”

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

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