With family and friends around her, Louise Paquet celebrated her 102nd birthday Friday at The Windsor Assisted Living & Memory Care facility.
Paquet has been a resident of The Windsor since the facility opened in 2009 on Santa Barbara Boulevard. Still a talkative, active senior she takes care of herself in her two-room apartment with minimal services from The Windsor staff.
Born in a small town in Belgium on Jan. 30, 1912, she came to America at age 12, in 1924, after her father immigrated to the U.S. a few years earlier following the German occupation of World War I.
"I worked for many years making lamps and shades," Paquet said. "When I got married I quit to raise my daughter, but the company called me back to work some years later."
The Windsor has had a birthday party for Paquet every year she has been a resident. Her 100th birthday deserved a big celebration and they celebrated 102 on Friday in a similar big way with cake and balloons with her many resident friends and close family in attendance.
Paquet came to Cape Coral a decade ago from Long Island, N.Y., because her husband died more than 25 years ago and she was living alone. One day her daughter Henrietta, who lives in Cape Coral, called and encouraged her to move here to be close by.
"I lived with her and her family for about five years until I moved in here," Paquet said. "I like it here. I have many friends."
Besides her daughter, Paquet is proud to have three grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren.
On a normal day, Paquet can be found walking the grounds of The Windsor with a walker and attending a number of exercise classes. She has been known to turn down sweets and desserts for fresh fruit. She also enjoys sitting outside the facility in the rocking chairs as well as playing games and other activities offered and organized by The Windsor staff.
"I never smoked or drank, but just a little wine once in awhile," Paquet said of her secret for a longer life.