A lifelong Tunkhannock resident recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
Jean Wynd DeWolfe, who resides in the local United Methodist Homes, was born on April 4, 1919, to James and Eva Kneller Wynd, when Woodrow Wilson was president.
DeWolfe graduated from Tunkhannock High School in 1936, where she was a center, captain and most valuable player on the girl’s basketball team. She was also a member of the cheerleading squad for other school sports.
She later married Russ DeWolfe, who passed away in 1985. Together, they raised four children: Don (now in California), Almina (Kentucky), Jim (State College) and Joanne (Tunkhannock).
Her children threw a birthday party for her on March 30 at Shadowbrook Resort to celebrate her long life with hopefully more years to come.
After high school, DeWolfe worked as a telephone operator with Commonwealth Telephone before becoming a Wyoming County deputy sheriff.
As a deputy sheriff, her main duties were to assist the sheriff in transporting female inmates, as well as typical office duties.
When the domestic relations office separated from the probation and sheriff’s office and the state began overseeing child support, DeWolfe changed positions and became its first domestic relations officer.
In this role, she would interview those seeking child support and conduct hearings.
“It was what mothers needed to take care of themselves and their children,” she remembered. “It was hard to see mothers having to go through that.”
Throughout her life, DeWolfe has been an avid quilt-maker, even once receiving a first place prize at the Wyoming County Fair.
She has belonged to the Tunkhannock Presbyterian Church for 85 years, never missing a Sunday before moving into the retirement facility.
“I’m the oldest member of that church now,” she said.
Being born in 1919, DeWolfe witnessed some of history’s most significant events. She remembers World War II vividly, as well as the Great Depression.
“What I remember most was the men from Tunkhannock who went to war,” she said. “My brother was overseas and wounded in action. My husband was in the Navy, but that was before we were married.”
She also reflected on the sacrifices people had to make during wartime, such as using ration coupons to buy their fair share of food.
“It affected me like it did everybody else, wondering what was coming next,” she said of the Great Depression.
Locally, DeWolfe also remembers the devastation of flooding, especially in 1972.
“The one in 1972 was the worst one,” she said.
Having lived a long and full life, DeWolfe offered her main advice for others.
“Just mind your own business and be honest,” she said.