By Rich Place

Although reaching 100 years old is an accomplishment for anyone, lifelong Springville area resident Marion Ahles continues to remain active as she celebrated her 102nd birthday this week.

This past summer she attended the Erie, Cattaraugus and Wyoming County Fairs, headed down to Fiddler’s Green Park for the Concerts in the Park and remains an active member of the SCENe Garden Club and Concord Senior Citizens.

Marion was born Sept. 13, 1916, at a time when the world was involved in World War I, Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States and Pop Warner was coaching the Pittsburgh Panthers football team to a national championship.

She celebrated the milestone 102nd birthday a few days early on Monday with cake amongst family and friends at the Concord Senior Center.

According to a biography written about her for her 100th birthday, Marion was a machinist during World War II and made special order parts for military aircraft. She did brickwork and electrical wiring for the home she and her husband, John, built in Springville.

She was a beautician with her own business and later was well known for her talent in the furniture reupholstery business, which she ran for many years. She and John helped create and manage the Springville Rifle and Pistol Club. She was the Champion Lady Pistol Shooter of Western New York for several years.

It was only a few short years ago, when Marion was 100, that she toured around East Otto on a Harley Davidson, rode a four-wheeler around the family’s farm and got up on horseback.

Always one to learn new talents, Marion uses the internet and loves to travel. Her hobbies include beading, photography, watching the wildlife in her backyard and caring for her family of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. She also recently served as an international art instructor, teaching oil painting in Ashford.

She said her secret to a long life is having a positive attitude, loving life, eating healthy and always being ready to learn new things.