Doris French, 101 and resident of the Cherokee Villa, looks at some of the beautiful flowers she recently received from a friend. Photo by Sarah Gengler
When it comes to living life to the fullest, Doris French, resident at the Cherokee Villa, might have the answer for all of us. "I never think about getting old," she said. "I don't feel old, I feel like I'm 69. I was going strong then." The Peterson native has lived in the area all of her 100 plus years and has keep busy during that time too. Born in Sutherland in 1907 she lived in Peterson with her family until she married in 1928. Doris then became Mrs. Harry French and moved to his farm just outside of Peterson where the couple raised hogs and farmed 240 acres of land together. Doris also raised some of her own hogs and claves to support her hobby of collecting dolls. "My husband didn't believe in that junk," she said with a smile. The love for baby dolls began as a little girl when she received on for Christmas at the age of five. "Her name is Amanda and she is German Bisque," she said. "She was before plastic dolls. She was made out of china." Amanda just happens to be Doris favorite doll but it is hard to choose with approximately 100 different dolls in her collection. Now that she is no longer living at home the collection has been put into a museum in Peterson. "I don't know why I started collecting them," Doris said. "I have just always liked them. There's a lot of beauty in them." Doris has other tastes of beauty in her life as well. Her joys for quilting and gardening flowers brought a smile to her face as she would describe all that she has accomplished. "I've made around 100 quilts," she smiled. "I have given them all to friends and now I don't have enough blankets for an extra bed." The hobby started very young as well, helping her mother make quilts while she grew up. Raising flowers on the other hand is something she didn't start until she was married. "I used to have a house full of plants," Doris said. "I used to specialize in ferns." Even though ferns are her specialty, she has a passion for azaleas' and delphinium. The 101 year old is quite the conversationalist as you might also find out in conversation that her favorite color is purple, and has been since she was a child. Her favorite foods are Kentucky Fried Chicken and chocolate. Her favorite holiday is the Fourth of July and her favorite animals are cows. Doris said her one goal yet in life is to move back to her home this spring. If you get a chance to stop in and talk with Doris, she has a great sense of humor and a smile that will brighten any room.