The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 27, 2013

Ashtabula County woman reflects on 100 years of life

Star Beacon

KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP — Dorothy Andrus Vasbinder rebounded from a tough blow early in life to travel the world and grasp every moment of life with a vengeance.

Vasbinder, who turns 100 years today, received an honorary library card at the Kingsville Library on the same spot where she attended high school in the 1930s.

She lost her husband, who was killed in car crash in the late 1930s, but her family helped her revive her zest for life.

Vasbinder worked for four years at the arsenal in Ravenna, during World War II, and spent a lot of time teaching soldiers to dance. She never lost her love of dance but can’t hit the dance floor quite the way she did in the past.

“I even learned to tango is South America,” she said.

Vasbinder returned to Ashtabula County after living in California for a short time and worked at the Ashtabula County Department of Human Resources for 40 years.

She said she put her overtime work money aside and traveled extensively in South America and Europe.

Vasbinder said her family, seven brothers and sisters, was the greatest blessing of all.

“I am the only one left,” she said, but many lived well into their 90s and one sister lived to 101. “I am going to have to hold on,” she said with a laugh of trying to live longer than her sister did.

Vasbinder walked across the street to the Simak Center which was her elementary school.

“This is your honorary card  in honor of your birthday,” said library director Marian Branch. She also created a large “ceremonial” card that was to be signed by her friends and family.

“I enjoyed every bit of it,” she said of her time at the area schools. She said she was offered the possibility of living with an elder sister and attending Warren Harding High School.

“I said positively not,” she said.

Vasbinder said she really appreciates her time in the United States after traveling to foreign countries.

“I’ve had a happy life,” she said.