New centenarian Olga Markert attributes long life to ‘keeping busy’


March 28, 2017

OLGA MARKERT attributes her 100 years to clean living and positive attitude.

Olga Klara (Gali) Markert may have the clean living part down, but really, attitude plays a big part in making it to age 100.

Markert passed the century mark on March 15, celebrating her birthday with her family on March 18.

She remains in relatively good shape and continues to live independently, with her daughter, Kathy, as her caregiver. She checks the mail, but Markert still does the dishes and laundry.

Markert has a wheelchair, but she can walk.

“She just doesn’t trust her legs,” said daughter-in-law Judy Markert. She doesn’t even wear glasses, although she is hard of hearing.

Olga Markert said she’s never smoked or drank, but “I think it’s keeping busy, not just sitting there moping about everything.”

“Every Christmas and birthday, she’d say, ‘Well, I made it,’” Judy Markert said.

“The closer I got, the more I wanted to be OK,” Olga Markert said.

Whatever her secret is, it could be in her blood. Her mother, also named Olga, lived to within three weeks of her 103rd birthday.

Markert made quilts into her 90s and sold them at the annual Christmas bazaar. She’s given that up, but she started a new hobby.

“Now I’m picking up dolls,” she said, but she noted she’s taking it easy on that hobby so her house doesn’t end up “overrun” with dolls. “There’s a point where you’ve got to stop.”

Judy Markert said she her husband Bill regularly take Olga shopping. She enjoys thrift stores, and she loves buying those dolls. Two rooms in her home feature a slowly growing collection.

Markert was born March 15, 1917 in Missouri and grew up in the Broadus, Mont., area. She had 13 siblings, eight of whom survived to adulthood. Two are in their 90s and remain alive today, and both attended her birthday party.

She remembers growing up around horses, wagons and sleighs, she said. Her father bought a Model T, produced by Ford from 1908 to 1927, but “we still did a lot of walking to the neighbors’.”

She married Fritz Markert, and they moved to Pennsylvania. He was a cabinet maker and built consoles for pipe organs.

They lived in Oregon briefly when their son Bill was in the first grade, then returned to Oregon after Bill got out of the Army around 1961 and lived in the Mid-Valley area to be near family.

They grew webbed feet and stayed, Olga Markert said. They settled in Sweet Home around 1970. Fritz Markert died in 1976, and Olga Markert remained here.

The Markerts had five children, John, Bill, Kathy, Tony and Fred.


“I stopped counting,” Olga Markert said. “I remember eight of them.”

Doing some quick calculations, Judy and Olga decided there were nine grandchildren. They didn’t try to count the great-grandchildren and the great-great’s.

Olga Markert said she doesn’t have many ambitions at this point. She enjoyed going to the coast with her daughter recently, and she always looks forward to shopping with Bill and Judy.

“I just take one day at a time,” she said.

OLGA MARKERT shares a laugh in a group photo that includes every family member attending her birthday party.


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