Aroostook woman rides in a limousine to celebrate her 107th birthday

3 weeks ago

A former Caribou woman celebrated her upcoming 107th birthday by hitting the road in a limousine.

Anna Roberts, who now lives at Leisure Village in Presque Isle, worked for many years at the Caribou city clerk’s office and was lauded as the city’s oldest resident. She is believed to be one of Maine’s oldest residents, as well.

Roberts still maintains close ties to her hometown, with multiple friends who visit her and keep her updated. Someone recently asked her to name something she’d never done but would like to. Her answer: a limo ride. Right then, people started planning to give her a road trip to remember.

“We all worked together and got this all situated for a special day for her,” said Jennifer Michaud, Leisure Village care coordinator. “I can’t believe she is still going strong. She is a go-getter. She’s awesome — a sweet, sweet lady.”

Two years ago, Roberts told the Aroostook Republican she had no secret to her longevity; it just happened. She and her husband, the late Prescott Roberts, were married for 50 years. She worked for 45 years for the City of Caribou. When she retired at age 62, she still skied and started bowling.

Now at Leisure Village, Roberts is legally blind but can see shadows. She still gets around well and heats up her own meals, Michaud said. She enjoys playing cards and loves a frappe from McDonald’s.

Michaud couldn’t wait to see Roberts’ reaction. 

Roberts’ actual birthday is July 5, but the celebration started with Wednesday’s outing. She knew she was going on a ride, but she had no idea what she’d be traveling in, Michaud said. Some friends from Caribou came to ride with her as another surprise, including Connie Ennis, Brenda Curtis and Paulette Landeen.

They didn’t stop there. The birthday crew got her a special shirt, sash and tiara, with heart-shaped sunglasses designating her the birthday girl, and even bought local chocolate-covered strawberries to enjoy on the trip. And, of course, her favorite frappe. 

The group gathered with Roberts on a sunny Wednesday morning amid balloons and a banner at the facility entrance, sporting their own heart-shaped shades in her honor.

The vintage limousine pulled up, driven by City Councilor Craig Green of Presque Isle, who was clad in chauffeur attire. City Councilor Kevin Freeman rode shotgun. Friends described the car for Roberts. 

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Limousine driver and Presque Isle city councilor Craig Green (left) and councilor Kevin Freeman (right) present a city sentiment and American flag to Leisure Village resident Anna Roberts, formerly of Caribou. Roberts celebrated her 107th birthday with a limousine ride. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

“You’re going for a ride in a limo,” said Blossom Cyr, Seniors/Domestics owner and care manager at Leisure Village. 

“I am? Really?” Roberts replied, smiling in surprise. “That’s exciting. That’s a big vehicle.”

Freeman presented her with a framed sentiment on the city’s behalf. 

“We’d like to give you this special sentiment for your birthday,” he said. “It’s from all the people of Presque Isle.”

Green gave her an American flag.

A delighted Roberts settled in the backseat with a little help and contentedly sipped her frozen coffee concoction as staff and friends piled in the car with her.

Roberts waved happily as the limousine rolled off.

Once in Caribou, the group planned to stop at Sleeper’s, where Roberts always did her shopping. Friends now bring her groceries to Presque Isle from the store, Michaud said.

On April 9, the store shared a social media post about seeing Roberts in person.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Friends and Leisure Village staff gather with resident Anna Roberts for a pre-birthday limousine ride to her hometown of Caribou on July 3. From left are, front row: Emma Johnson, staff; Brenda Curtis, friend; Roberts; Blossom Cyr, care manager; and Lila McCrum, staff. Back row: Connie Ennis and Paulette Landeen, friends; Katrina Weeks and Peggy Caron, staff; Jen Michaud, care coordinator; and Emily Jackson and Trinity Saucier, staff. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

“Today we had our first spring visit from Anna Roberts, our most long-standing customer at Sleeper’s,” the post said. “At the young age of 106, Anna remembers shopping during the early years of Sleeper’s and reminisced about assisting our grandfather when he would do business at Caribou City Office.”

Roberts has a niece who lives in New Hampshire, Michaud said. While other stops on the birthday tour weren’t certain, a party was planned later at the assisted living facility.

“She’s going to have a busy day,” she said.