NEW PORTLAND — Congratulations are in order for Roseilla “Rosie” Pinkham, who celebrated her 103rd birthday Wednesday at her home, surrounded by members of six generations of her family.

Pinkham shares her birthday with great-granddaughter Caity Brown of Solon, who turned 26. The two have an annual photo to commemorate the occasion.

What is Pinkham’s secret to a long life?

“Stay busy,” she said. “I’ve always stayed busy and made stuff. Twenty-six years ago I got a call while I was making a rug that there was a baby girl that was born on my birthday. I was 77 years old.”

Pinkham’s legacy will live on for many years to come. Her granddaughter Sheryl Keene sat down to map out Pinkham’s immediate family members.

“She has 19 grandchildren, at least 42 great-grandchildren, I lost count,” Keene said. “There’s 35 great-great-grandchildren and one sixth-generation grandchild and one on the way.”


Pinkham was born Dec. 15, 1918, in Moscow, and was one of 11; she grew up with eight brothers and two sisters. Pinkham married Ronald Pinkham and the two initially lived in a home that sat on 152 acres in Lexington and raised their first few children. At the time of the sale, the couple paid $390 for the exchange.

In 1939, the home burned down and her family lost everything. The couple rebuilt on the property and continued to raise their nine children there.

Of her nine children, three are still alive: Doreen McCarty, Celia Dow and Ronald Pinkham Jr.

Pinkham worked various jobs up until her retirement in 1957, when they moved to New Portland, where she still resides today.

She has since taken on various endeavors, most notably yodeling and music. In 2015, she performed her rendition of “I Want to be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana at the nearby Happy Horseshoe.

McCarthy, who lives with Pinkham, said that she had received notification from the town that her mother was the town’s oldest living resident.

Sitting in the living room, Pinkham, the matriarch of the family, blew out her birthday candles and shared stories with her extended grandchildren about the many jobs and hobbies she held throughout the years and the love she had for each one of them.

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