SHOW LOW — Haven of Show Low resident, Virginia Schoepke, turns 100 years old on Wednesday, Jan. 20. She grew up in Ashland, Wisconsin but lived near friends in Springerville for the last 10 to 12 years.
For the last year an a half, she has been living in the Haven of Show Low.
“Virginia is just a little cutiebug,” says Haven staff member Billie Bowlin. “She does like purple and her whole room is decked out in that color. She also likes coffee and she thinks that’s one of the secrets to her longevity.”
Virginia is said to be a world traveler including trips to Africa, Switzerland and many other countries. She shared with the Haven staff that she would go find a ship and get a job on the ship so she could travel abroad.
Her father was a train director which is how she became passionate about traveling the world, according to Bowlin.
“She is just amazing for her age,” says Bowlin. “She walks around, does puzzles and she reads us the newspaper. She keeps us up on current events. She has a much energy as I do.”
Virginia was even driving up until two years ago.
The staff says Virginia was adopted and didn’t have any brothers or sisters but she has a cousin named Dick Pahlow. They are close in age so they were like siblings to one another.
“Virginia is a free spirit that traveled the world,” said Dick Pahlow. “When her parents passed away, she jumped on a trans-steamer ship. Wherever that boat stopped for letting people off, she would get a job for six months.”
Pahlow said Virginia never married but she did her own thing and she also wrote poetry.
When she stopped in the other countries, she would learn the cultures and the religions, said AnnaJay Pahlow, Dick’s wife. “She’s amazing and she is one of a kind and anyone who met her never forgot her.”
The Haven of Show Low staff invited the community to send Virginia birthday cards. If you would like to send Virginia a birthday card, please mail to: Virginia Schoepke, 2401 East Hunt Drive, Show Low, AZ 85901.