Lois Rougeux of Frenchville celebrates 100th birthday

Lois Rougeux of Frenchville is all smiles as the large crowd sings “Happy Birthday” on Sunday at her 100th birthday party.

FRENCHVILLE — Lois Rougeux of Frenchville and dozens of family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday at a party at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church social hall.

Rougeux was born on Nov. 1, 1919 in Moshannon. She was named “Subscriber of the Day” by The Progress on Friday.

She attributes her long life to her Catholic faith, going to church every week, and eating healthy.

She said she and her late husband were organic gardeners for decades.

“I don’t eat junk,” Rougeux said.

When she was 18, she and her husband Thomas eloped to New York to get married. She was of the Protestant faith but her husband was Catholic — so she converted to the Catholic faith.

Her husband Thomas was a conductor with the Pennsylvania Railroad and on Dec. 7, 1941, she and Thomas moved to West Chester.

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That was also the same day Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japan. Her brother-in-law was serving in the U.S. Army and he was stationed in Hawaii at the time, but he happened to be on leave and was not in Hawaii on Dec. 7 and was not there for the attack.

Because her husband Thomas was a train conductor and drove troop trains to cities like New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta, he wasn’t sent off to fight in the war.

Lois Rougeux said she was a school teacher at an upscale private school in West Chester until she retired.

“You learn a lot as a teacher,” Lois Rougeux said.

After they retired, and after 40 years of living in West Chester, the couple moved back to Frenchville in 1981.

Thomas Rougeux passed away in 2006.

She and Thomas have five sons, Rodney, Martin, Thomas, Dennis and Cory.