Woman celebrates 108th birthday with favorite group of students

Jan 15, 2016 3:50 PM by News Staff

Where were you when Ford’s first "Model T" was built? Don’t know? Better yet, weren’t around?

There's one person in Chico who can answer that question. She was born the same year that vehicle changed the way we all get around.

Florence Montrond spent her 108th birthday with some of her favorite people. A fifth grade class from Hooker Oak Elementary School.

Montrond was a schoolteacher for 60 years. She said she remembers those times fondly.

"I've never seen a bad kid... if you treat him right," Montrond said.

Montrond said she held high reverence for every child she taught, even the ones who couldn’t remember her name.

"When things got exciting the kids couldn't remember my name and they'd call me "teacher, teacher," she said. “I said you know my name and they said yeah but I forgot it."

For her special day, Ms. Geise's Hook Oak Elementary class, who volunteers at the Amber Grove Memory Care Residence every month, spent the afternoon having cake and ice cream with the birthday girl. They said they weren't going to miss the chance to celebrate with their friends.

Jackson Fuller, a Hooker Oak student, said they get just as much, if not more, out of going to Amber Grove.

"We love coming here to Amber Grove and making people happy," he said.

The class made posters commemorating each decade of Montrond's life and presented them to her at the party.

Montrond was born January 14, 1908 in Woodland during the Theodore Roosevelt administration. She grew up in the Sacramento suburb, then became a teacher in Elk Grove. She had other hobbies but always came back to her first love, teaching.

“The only thing I liked to do is dance... ballroom, or dancing with kids," she said.

She attributes her long life to staying active and good, old-fashioned clean living.

"I didn't drink maybe for dinner if they had wine or something," she said.

Montrond appreciates everything she has and is thankful for the life she has led.

"God has been good to me to let me live this long, and I can't get over it," she said.

In addition to all the well-wishers in attendance, she also received a letter from President Barack Obama at her birthday party.


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