Edna Weisel: Never imagined making it 100 years

January 3, 2011
Edna Weisel, 100, received balloons and flowers at her Rehoboth Beach home last week. NONE RACHEL SWICK PHOTO

Edna Weisel took her latest milestone in stride. Her family threw her a big party at Victoria’s Restaurant on The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. She received cards, phone calls, balloons and flowers, and entertained visitors to her Camelot Meadows home with stories and jokes.

Weisel was born Dec. 29, 1910. Back then her family lived in Bedford County, Pa.

“I was the middle child with an older sister and a younger sister,” Weisel said. Even though her older sister lived to be 99 years old, Weisel says, “Now, I’m the only one left.”

In the early 1900s, Weisel, then Sweet, enjoyed a wonderful childhood.

“My father had an Everett Motor Company lot where he sold Dodge and Studebaker cars,” Weisel said. “Every summer, from the age of 16 until I was married in 1935, he sent me out to South Bedford, Indiana, and I’d drive a new Studebaker back to his car lot.”

Weisel attended a teaching school based at the University of Pennsylvania and then began her career as a kindergarten teacher.

She later moved to Prince George’s County, Md., to teach, becoming the first teacher in county history to teach special education to the youngest children.

“Two supervisors came to my house to have me teach special education when it was just starting,” Weisel said. “I really enjoyed teaching.”

In 1938, Weisel had her only child, a son, Bill. As he was growing up, her husband left her, so she was left to raise Bill alone. Bill later bought a couple properties in Rehoboth and rented them out. For many years mother and son lived and worked together on Delaware Avenue.

“I would come down for weekends, then go back to teach,” Weisel said. “I would be here for summers to help manage properties for Bill.”

One very memorable summer, Bill asked her to manage a property in the Virgin Islands for his real estate company. Not one to pass up a great opportunity, Weisel took a year’s sabbatical from teaching and got on a plane. Weisel no longer remembers exactly when it was, but one year, she said, “I went back to teaching and just didn’t want to do it anymore, so I moved down here permanently.”

While driving through Camelot Meadows, outside Rehoboth, she noticed a sale sign in the window of a modular home and decided to investigate.

“I knocked on the door, and it was a woman I had known for years in Rehoboth who was selling this house,” Weisel said.

She took it as a sign and bought the house.

She still lives there and has many friends in the area who stop by to help her.

Years later, Weisel became legally blind, so she had to give up her car – an item she says she misses more than her husband.

“Back then we never locked our doors and you knew everyone who lived here,” Weisel said. “Some weekends I would be driving here from Maryland, and I would be the only person on the road. Now it’s so busy and people are moving around all the time. It’s just packed everywhere all the time.”

Last week, friends and family from five different states traveled to Rehoboth to visit with Weisel, who says she never imagined making it 100 years. But, now that she made it this far, she intends to make it a bit longer.

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