A northeast Iowa town will host a birthday party next week for the state’s oldest known resident. Emma Hough of Sumner will turn 111 years old on December 2.
Connie Rochford is helping organize a celebration. “Everybody who lives here, ever since she turned 100, knows when her birthday is and they always send her birthday cards and things,” Rochford said. “Being 111, we wanted to do something a bit more than just send a birthday card.”
A community celebration, with birthday cake, is planned from 1 to 2 p.m. on December 6 at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner. Hough is a resident of Hillcrest and until recently walked the halls and grounds on her own.
She now uses a wheelchair, but Rochford says Hough is still in good health. “She’s doing better than some 60 and 70 year olds,” Rochford said.
One of the keys to Hough’s long life is she works to keep her mind sharp, according to Rochford. “She keeps busy doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and reading,” Rochford said.
Hough grew up in Sumner and graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1926. Last month, she was a guest of honor in Upper Iowa’s homecoming parade.
Hough married her husband, Charles, in 1928. They were together for 53 years before he died in 1981. Rochford said, on Hough’s 101st birthday, she hopped on a camel and took a ride in a Lamborghini. That same week, she also handled a boa constrictor. These days, her adventures mostly involve rides in a golf cart around Sumner.