Meet South Dakota's Oldest Resident
by Phil McIlrath, KDLT News
November 28, 2012 10:06 PM
According to the U.S. Census, South Dakota has the highest percentage of residents more than 100 years old. One of those residents, is Dorothy Antritter , who, according to the state's Century Club, is the oldest living South Dakotan at 108.
Throughout the halls of the Jenkins Living Center in Watertown, a spry little song from a very special lady fills the air.
"Okay, that's enough,"said Antritter.
But, if you really want the singing to stop, just ask this question:
"How old are you?"
"Quit talking about my birthday,"replied Antritter.
Antritter, according to current records, is the oldest South Dakotan at 108, but you wouldn't believe that after a conversation with her.
"I was so skinny when I was a girl that my dad decided I should have sauerkraut juice,"said Antritter.
Born in 1904, in Round Lake, Minn., her's family lived a short stint in Canada before putting down roots in Watertown.
"I went to high school here,"said Antritter.
She also played on the school basketball team.
"The only reason I got on the team was because I was tall,"said Antritter.
But, it was in the classroom, not the ballcourt, where she met her biggest adversary.
"I had a mean teacher! She flunked me for a week! Her name was Miss Emmett, and I've hated her ever since,"said Antritter.
Between the laughs, her stories are a living history She's witnessed some of the biggest events in the past century including Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic, the Depression, and both world wars.
"We heard all the bells and all the whistles and we thought what on earth is going on and people said the war is over,"remembered Antritter.
From those milestones to the technological revolution, Antritter has seen it all.
"The first time I used an electric typewriter it scared me to death," said Antritter. "It worked so fast that it jumped at me."
As a secretary, she worked more than 10 hours a day, six days a week--all for $50 a month. While her strong work ethic has led to a long and prosperous life, she doesn't give much thought to what the "secret" might be that's led to such a long life.
"I lie a lot!"said Antritter.
Even though she won't say it, it's probably not a lie that a little laughter and a song in your heart don't hurt either.
Antritter has never married, so one has to wonder, is staying single the secret to a long life? She says she'll never tell.
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