On November 11, Frances Kompus celebrated her 100th birthday, and her sisters Julia Kopriva and Lucy Pochop, who are 104 and 102 years old, respectively, were there to assist her recognize the event.
The ceremony was held in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Atwood, Kansas, which was sponsored by Kompus. Because their baptism, confirmation, and finally their wedding all took place at this spot, it has a unique significance for them.
She was never alone herself when Kompus was growing up since she lived on a farm near Beardsley, Kansas, with her two elder sisters. She recalled having to sprint in order to keep up with them as they walked the two miles to school each morning.
She remembered that she had “always done what they did.”
Their ancestors immigrated from Czechoslovakia and settled in Rawlins County after working as farmers there.
When their parents needed help on the farm, all three of their daughters would pitch in, with Kompus taking turns driving the tractor for a period of three hours at a stretch. According to Kompus, “Well, we didn’t ever eat fancy meals, but we ate nice food.”
She said that maintaining a healthy diet was one of the factors that contributed to her long life, which is why she was relieved to learn that the home provided by the Good Samaritan Society, into which she moved in December 2019, also offered nutritious meals.
Other factors that contributed to her long life include maintaining a social life and walking a lot. “Don’t stop,” was the advice she gave.
They celebrated their golden years together and made the most of their retirement by moving into flats in Atwood that were next to one another.
When Pochop moved into an apartment next to Kopriva in the year 2000, it became a weekly tradition for the two of them to engage in card and domino games on a nightly basis.
Fran Allacher, who is Kompus’s daughter, said that “it was their thing. They just recently become friends, but since then they have provided unwavering support for one another.”
When Kopriva was growing up, she was very thankful to have her siblings nearby. Fortunately, they were always able to get along. According to Pochop’s daughter, Valyne Pochop, once they both became moms, they would contact one another two or three times a day to talk to one another about their new responsibilities.
Kopriva mentioned another remarkable fact, which is that none of them feel their actual age.
The fact that these three sisters have such a strong bond with one another as well as with their own families is even more gratifying than the fact that all three of them have lived such long lives!