Lillian Rolo remembers Leavenworth as few do, and understandably so: she celebrated her 105th birthday May 3.
Born in 1909 at the family homestead, Rolo was the second oldest of eight children — four boys and four girls.  

Lillian Rolo remembers Leavenworth as few do, and understandably so: she celebrated her 105th birthday May 3.
Born in 1909 at the family homestead, Rolo was the second oldest of eight children — four boys and four girls.  
“I was always the handyman,” she said.
Later in life, Rolo operated a triple-needle sewing machine at an overall factory — first in Leavenworth, and later at Cowden Manufacturing in Kansas City.
Horses were Rolo’s first love, and she began riding as early as her parents allowed.
“I was never afraid,” said Rolo, today a resident at Twin Oaks Assisted Living in Lansing. “But, those horses finally got me. One mare I’d drive out in one of those little carts to go out to pick strawberries at the neighbors. Pretty little thing. She kicked me and split my nose wide open when I was 10.”
Time with horses was a nice break from the chores required of children at the time.  
“I’ve been a working person my entire life,” Rolo said.
And, as a child, that need to work got in the way of Rolo continuing her education.
She attended the Jefferson School for a while, but if there is one thing she regrets, it's that she wasn’t able to finish high school, and maybe even attend college.
“So much hard work, and doing without,” Rolo said of her childhood, “Meant not getting to go to school and getting the chance to learn.”
“I didn't get no education like kids do now.”
However, Rolo did have the chance to learn from her mother, Mary Cassello, her maternal grandmother, Marie, and her maternal great-grandmother, the three women who raised her.  
“They were so good to me, and did so much for me,” Rolo said. “They were beautiful people, wonderful people.”
It is the people in her life Rolo remembers most — her family, her husband of 52 years, her many, many friends and her Lutheran church.
Likewise, not many people seem to have forgotten about her, as evidenced by a sizable box of birthday cards, another box of candy and cookies, and multiple bouquets gifted to her for her birthday.
“I had some good times and a nice life,” she said. “I was married and I had a nice home, so I guess I did alright. The two of us, working together.  It was a great life.”