Over the past 105 years, Emilie Krause has lived through the sinking of the Titanic, the Great Depression, two world wars and the first man to walk on the moon. On Thursday, Krause celebrated her 105th birthday with three generations of family, as well as friends from her current residence at Brighton Gardens Assisted Living in Westlake.
On Krause’s big day, she was treated to birthday cake and a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung by her loved ones, friends and staff of Brighton Gardens. To commemorate her love of gardening and nature, 105 pink yard flamingos decorated the front lawn of Brighton Gardens in addition to the large helium flamingo balloons that were on display throughout the party.
“I’m still just blessed to have her with us, but it’s very difficult with recent setbacks in her health,” said Juanita Pariano of Fairview Park, and Krause’s only child. “Most days when we see her and she is awake, we have those hugs and kisses, which just really mean a lot. It’s those moments that I just cherish.”
Krause was born Aug. 6, 1907, to German parents who had recently migrated to the United States and settled in the city of Cleveland. Shortly after her birth, the family made the decision to return to their native country, where Krause remained until age 21. She returned to America in order to retain her American citizenship, and began working as a nanny for several families.
At a German-American organization function, Krause met the love of her life, Richard Krause, whom she married in 1941. After several years of marriage, Emilie put her nanny skills to the test when their daughter entered into their lives. She was a dedicated, loving mother and wife; she always made sure her husband had a packed lunch during the work day, served as Juanita’s room mother and was also a Girl Scout leader.
After Richard Krause died in 1977, Juanita and her husband, Len Pariano, advised Emilie Krause to move from her Cleveland home to a residence in Fairview Park, closer to Juanita and Len. Len and Juanita have two sons, Anthony and Andrew, and Anthony and his wife have given Emilie Krause two great-grandsons, Nicholas and Joseph.
“The best thing is to always see her perking up, and when she’s surrounded by people she loves you see that awareness come back,” said Anthony. “She’s really a loving and stubborn person, and that combination will keep her going.”
Krause’s birthday celebration was provided by Crossroads Hospice’s Gift of a Day program. The program was inspired by the book “The Ultimate Gift,” which asks, “If you had one day left, how would you spend it?” The hospice’s staff will make each patient’s wish a reality. Krause had simply asked to have a birthday celebration that allowed her to be surrounded by her loving family, which Crossroads Hospice made possible.