CORNWALL, Ontario – At 106, Stella Deneault is still as sharp as they come.
“I feel pretty good,” said Denault from her room at Woodland Villa in Long Sault. “The only thing is my eyes and my ears.”
Denault is hard of hearing and blind, but her memory does not fail her and neither does her spirit.
“The secret is that you don’t know so I always took it one day at a time,” she said. “When you live, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
Deneault has lived in the Cornwall area since she was 10-years-old when she moved into the city with her mother from Coteau Station.
She has seen a lot of changes in the region since then. She has seen business come and go and has seen social norms change. Deneault remembers a time when married women were not allowed to work.
At the age of 21, Stella Deneault was working at the Courtaulds textile factory in the reel room. She was also planning to get married, which she did at St. Columban’s Church in Cornwall on the night of Dec. 26, 1932.
Deneault said that she chose to get married during the Christmas break because she would not have to take time off work. Denault did not want her employer to know she was married because she did not want to lose her job. A fellow employee however let it slip to her supervisor that she had married over the holidays and she was let go.
“I liked it because I was making $12 a week,” she said. “It’s not like today where you make that in an hour, that was a lot of money back then.”
Deneault has done some traveling in her time to Paris, France and Las Vegas, which she says she had been to quite a bit.
Stella Deneault has 12 children, 38 grandchildren, 71 great grandchildren, 39 great great grandchildren, 12 great great great grandchildren and 2 great great great great grandchildren.
Deneault will be celebrating her 106 birthday with some members of her large family, as well as some of her friends at Woodland Villa in Long Sault on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 1 p.m. If you are stopping by to visit Stella and to wish her a happy birthday, please just bring your best wishes and a smile.