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March 23rd, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
Blanche Risk celebrated her birthday last week with her family. That may not usually be a newsworthy event, but Miss Risk is rather good at celebrating her birthday. She has done it more often than most. She celebrated her 104th birthday.
She attributes her longevity to a few things. “The man upstairs is not ready for me yet,” she said. She also credits the library with keeping her mind in good shape and the spa with doing the same for her body.
While she never married, she said that as a first grade teacher she had “hundreds and hundreds of children, all first graders.” She made certain that all of her students learned to read and to square dance.
Part of that time teaching was spent in Fairbanks, Alaska before it became Alaska became a state. She recently wrote about the experience for Alaska’s 50th anniversary celebration. The following is from what she wrote for the state’s Educator’s Historical Society:
“I am a retiree from the Fairbanks School and the oldest ‘retired’ STILL getting a pension from Juneau. I’m sure they are saying ‘Is that old broad still living.’”
“I was in Alaska before it became a state, Fairbanks was a small town. Only one main street, as many bars as churches, only one school, kg. through High School, few teachers on shift teaching, all friends. Celebrating birthdays, trying to adjust to ‘God’s frozen County.’”
By Susan Motander