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Veronica McQueston honored as Hadley’s oldest resident

  • Veronica McQueston Submitted Photo

  • Veronica McQueston, second from right, surrounded by friends. Submitted Photo


Friday, August 31, 2018

HADLEY — A Hadley centenarian is being recognized as the town’s oldest resident, earning the Boston Gold Cane honor from the Council on Aging.

Veronica “Blondie” McQueston, who turned 100 on April 16, was presented the cane in front of four generations of her family, as well as friends, at her home at the Elaine Center at Hadley earlier this month.

During the event, McQueston received cake, roses, a plaque and lapel pins shaped like the cane. A Hadley native born on West Street in the midst of thunderstorm, McQueston has been known as Blondie since childhood. She worked on her family’s farm and taught her father how to drive when tractors replaced draft horses.

She tells a story about yelling to her father to find the brake so the tractor wouldn’t go down the embankment. But when he got to the end of the field, the story goes, he nervously started yelling “Whoa, Whoa!” before his daughter reminded him of how to stop the tractor.

McQueston worked at Butler & Ullman rose-growing greenhouses for 20 years and for the University of Massachusetts for 20 years before her retirement 35 years ago.

During the recognition ceremony, she said she had no magic formula for a long life, but noted her beloved pug Pixie when she was a child, her appreciation for bird watching and still enjoying crossword puzzles and an occasional cold beer.