Altoona native turns 100, says she has lived “a good life”


ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Bertha Rose, better known as Bernice, sits in her living room on her tablet. It’s technology she never thought she’d be using, but it lets her instantly connect with her family.

Bernice has lived for 100 years so she has seen technology and the world evolve.

“People just don’t realize what it was like when I was born compared to what it is now,” Bernice explained.

Bernice was born as Bertha Bernice Swartz on November 11, 1920.

“I have lived a good life,” Bernice smiled. “I never thought I’d live to be this old. Never.”

Think about all the things Bernice has seen.

How cars have changed, airplanes have evolved and the different ways we can now communicate with others.

Think about the iconic moments in history she has lived through like the first time women could vote, the beginning and end of WWII and the first man to walk on the moon.

“Oh I have lots of stories, believe me,” Bernice said. “I feel blessed that I have lived this long.”

Her life started as the Spanish flu pandemic was coming to an end. She spent some of her childhood days living through the Great Depression.

“Time growing up was a little rough,” Bernice told us. “I grew up during different wars when things were rationed and that was a little rough.”

Bernice graduated from Altoona High School in 1938. She still has her yearbook.

Her life has been filled with a lot of great memories, but there is one that sticks out the most.

“Well naturally having my kids,” she explained.

Bernice had three kids with her first husband John “Jack” Ebersole. They were married for 24 years until he died of a heart attack in 1961.

She remarried eight years later to Chester Rose, a proud marine. Together they went on many adventures.

“I traveled cross country twice,” she told us. “We pulled a trailer and I spent a lot of winters in Florida.”

While the world continues changing some things will always remain. Like the love of a family, the love for living and the love for a life full of memories and stories. These are the things that are timeless. These are the things that make Bernice look at life and smile.

“If I had my life to live over I’d live it exactly the same way,” Bernice said.

Happy 100th birthday, Bernice! Here’s to many, many more.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

February 07 2021 06:30 pm

Don't Miss