Great Darke County Fair honors 2 oldest fairgoers at 103


GREENVILLE — Mildred Dill of Versailles Care Center, and Lucille Thomas of Greenville, each won $100 for being the Oldest Fairgoers at the Great Darke County Fair on Monday.

Both ladies are 103-years-old, and share a birthday of September 10, 1913. Dill said she had volunteered in the hospital gift shop for 25 years until she was 93. Her eyes became bad and she had to quit.

“Now I sit on my butt,” she said. “Working and loving people is the secret to living a long life. I love to work. When I quit working in the gift shop, a lady wrote a note to me. It said, ‘Mildred, I miss your happy smile’. And I had to cry, because when anybody would come in the door, I would always nod and smile.”

Lucille Thomas, of Greenville said she has been coming to the fair since she could walk. She worked as a nurse 30 years in surgery. She is still active.

“I do everything I can now,” she said. “Don’t sit in a chair, just keep doing something.”

Jennifer and Gregory Peck owners of Sound, and the Darke County Agricultural Society each donated the winners $100. Fairboard Member Ed Erisman said this is his favorite event.

“This is always fun,” he said.

Gregory is celebrating 25 years at the Mic Tent.

“I get joy out of those people,” he said. “I love to see the older people out and functioning. Some people look forward to coming to the fair every year, and I think that is what keeps them going.”

The competition was steep, as five in attendance at the Second National Bank Rest Tent were older than 100-years-old. Herman Kolb, 103, of Rossburg, missed the prize by a few months. He was born in November. He spent most of his life raising sheep and border collies. He lives with his wife Velma, who is 97-years-old. He said something he enjoyed about farming was waiting to see new prospects coming along. Now he enjoys keeping up with the newspaper, he said.

What is his secret to a long life?

“I don’t have any secret,” he said. “Get up in the morning and go to bed at night. Stay away from the booze and tobacco. Don’t pay attention to your age. Just keep going.”

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From left to right front row: Oldest Fairgoers Recognized: Mildred Dill, Versailles Care Center and Lucille Thomas, of Greenville. They are both 103-years-old, and both share a birthday of September 10, 1913. From left to right back row: Jennifer and Gregory Peck owners of Sound, and Fairboard Member Ed Erisman. “This my favorite event,” Erisman said.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_old1.jpgFrom left to right front row: Oldest Fairgoers Recognized: Mildred Dill, Versailles Care Center and Lucille Thomas, of Greenville. They are both 103-years-old, and both share a birthday of September 10, 1913. From left to right back row: Jennifer and Gregory Peck owners of Sound, and Fairboard Member Ed Erisman. “This my favorite event,” Erisman said. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@dailyadvocate.com