Mabel Normand turns 104 at Lafayette Center



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Mabel Normand was pictured at the Lafayette Center last week before her birthday. She turned 104 on October 22. Darin Wipperman/The Littleton Courier. (click for larger version)
October 23, 2013
FRANCONIA — Mabel Normand, a resident at Lafayette Center, had a birthday yesterday. She turned 104.

The upcoming event wasn't much of a big deal to Normand in a conversation last week. Regarding her mom's birthday, daughter Rose-Marie Bean said, "She doesn't like to dwell on it."

Although Normand didn't want to talk about her birthday, she shared some thoughts about her life and the region. Normand has lived in the North Country her whole life.

Normand's health has been good throughout her life. Although hearing can be a problem now, Normand's mind is still sharp as she recalled events across the generations.

Normand's parents' moved from Canada shortly before she was born. The precipitating event for the move to New Hampshire was a fire at her parent's Canadian home. Lightning caused the fire, Normand said.

Normand spent much of her life on Saranac Street in Littleton. She lived there growing up, and also spent 60 years of married life in the home that Normand's parents originally rented from the Saranac Glove Company. Normand had eight siblings who lived to adulthood.

"I love Littleton," Normand said last week. "I hated to go on vacation," she continued, because her hometown would always beckon.

Throughout her life, Normand had several favorite activities. These include knitting, crochet, cooking, and square dancing.

Scrap booking was another favorite hobby, added Bean. Normand's scrapbook collection included family news and current events from papers. Normand said she really enjoyed keeping track of information through her scrapbooks.

Normand was also involved in social activities. These included Catholic Daughters, Grange, and VFW events with her husband. Even as a part of these groups, Bean said Normand was always happy being a homebody.

Bingo has become a favorite pastime at Lafayette Center, Normand noted. A competitive drive keeps her coming back to the Wednesday afternoon Bingo table. When asked what she liked so much about Bingo, Normand responded with a smile, "Winning."

In addition to Bean, Normand's surviving family includes two grandchildren and one great granddaughter. All of them still live in the region, Bean said. "My family has been very, very nice to me," Normand concluded.

Bille Jo Kimber, Lafayette's recreational director, said Normand has lived at the center for nearly six-and-a-half years. She noted that Normand does not like to just sit around in her room. In May, Kimber added, Normand put on a red dress for the center's senior prom.

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