Milestone 106th birthday is sweet for Melbourne resident
Alice Good recently celebrated her 106th birthday.
SENIOR LIFE Jeff Navin
Alice Good blew out the candles on her birthday cake and had a big slice to celebrate her 106th birthday on Friday, Feb. 2.
It was only appropriate as friends, family and residents of Brookdale Senior Living in Melbourne sang “Happy Birthday to You’’ as Jay Yerkes played the piano to celebrate the occasion.
“I love my life and I’ve left it in the hands of the Lord,’’ said Good, who lived most of her life in Seneca Falls, N.Y. before retiring in Melbourne. “And, I ate a lot of chocolate. I know it’s not good for you, but I didn’t expect to live this long.’’
Beverly Good says her mother-in-law lives on chocolate potato chips, chocolate milk shakes and chocolate ice cream.
“She might be my mother-in-law, but she’s been my mom for many years now,’’ said Good, who has been married to Alice Good’s son Bob since 1964. “She likes to reminisce, but she lives for today. She doesn’t live in the past, but she remembers the past. She’s led an exciting life.’’
After graduating from Mynderse Academy, Good attended a business school in nearby Geneva. While studying, she worked for two different lawyers and typed legal documents for them.
Around that time period, she won a contest as the fastest typist in New York.
Good eventually became the deputy commissioner for social services in Seneca Falls.
“My mom never got mad and she didn’t hold any grudges,’’ Bob Good said. “She was very easy going and laid back. She was precise in everything. It had to be done right. She had 40 women under her in social services, and I’m sure she ran it.’’
Seneca Falls was the birthplace for women’s rights, and Alice Good remembers as a child watching women marching in protests while wearing long dresses.
Near the end of her working career in the early 1970s, she began to work on a computer in her office. She was quick to embrace the new technology.
“I love computers and I love my tablet,’’ Good said. “I read books on my Kindle for a long time. I can’t read that much anymore. My eyes are getting old.’’
Good never drank or smoked. She also never exercised. In physical education classes as a child, she often pretended to be sick to avoid exertion.
“Maybe that helped me to my old age,’’ Good said. “We drank unpasteurized milk and water from a well that was unchlorinated. I remember on Sunday afternoons we milked the cow to get enough milk
If it weren’t for hurricanes, especially Hurricane Matthew in September 2016, Good still might be living on her own at Tropical Haven in Melbourne. She moved to Brookdale only a year ago.
“My husband and I were in upstate New York,’’ Beverly Good said. “We couldn’t leave her there in good conscience. We’re snowbirds here for only the winter.’’
Her son also had other concerns.
“It became hard for her to prepare meals,’’ Bob Good said. “I was afraid that she might fall.’’
At 90, Good broke her hip a short distance from home.
“She never worked up a sweat,’’ Bob Good said. “Someone helped her to her car and she drove home with a broken hip.’’
Good and her husband moved to Melbourne in 1973 and lived as seasonal residents at Land Yacht Port-O-Call in an Airstream trailer. Those trailers were nicknamed Silver Bullets. Port-O-Call was adjacent to Tropical Haven and near the Melbourne Airport. It closed in 2004.
When she and her husband weren’t in Florida, they traveled around the United States in the Airstream and saw every state in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii.
In 1993, she sold the Airstream and moved to Tropical Haven.
Marie Chalker is 12 years younger than her older sister. Two middle sisters died at 96 and 95, respectively.
“I always looked up to her,’’ Chalker said.
“Alice got married, so she wasn’t around much when I was a child. We’re closer now than when we were younger. People joke now that we’re the bookends.”