Roseville's Dorothy Ettner celebrates her 101st birthday

By: Brody Fernandez, Gold Country Media
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Last week, Roseville’s own Dorothy Ettner celebrated her 101st birthday with her friends at the Rocklin Daycation Center on Stanford Ranch Road.

“I was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and it was nice because one thing I was always grateful for was the Hershey chocolate factory that was there when I was growing up.” Ettner said.

Her father had a “cool” job as an ice man.

“He would haul massive 50-pound blocks of ice to those who needed it. They could come in these thick wooden crates,” Ettner said. “My father would even deliver ice to those who couldn’t afford it or were sick.”

Ettner enjoys her beer.

“My grandfather made his own beer from home. I even helped my grandpa as a young girl with making beer. There’s nothing like homemade beer,” Ettner said. “Soon after, I remember the house getting raided (by federal agents) and they took hammers to all of my grandfather’s barrels of beer during the Prohibition.”

Ettner was forced to drop out of school in 1929 when the Great Depression hit. She took a job as a seamstress in Lancaster with her mother so the family would have enough to eat.

Although Ettner could not remember when she moved west, she remembered a conversation she had with her best friend when she moved to Southern California.

“I asked my really good friend at the time if she would like to come to California on a bus after I told her how wonderful it was and soon she was on her way,” Ettner said. “There’s no place like California It’s just so beautiful.”

Ettner would go on to have several children and there are now four generations of her lineage here in Northern California.

She married again after Ettner’s first husband died of tuberculosis.

Ettner might have the secret is to living a long and healthy life.

“Well, for starters, I never smoked, not one cigarette,” Ettner said proudly. “So I imagined that helped, but really, I just did what I loved. I used to roller skate ever since I was a little girl and I never stopped skating.”


Some interesting historical facts that happened throughout Ettner’s life

  • When Ettner was born, women did not have the right to vote.

  • She was 3 years old when the Constitution’s 19th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1920.  

  • Insulin was introduced in 1922 to treat diabetes for the first time. Ettner was 5 years old.

  • She has lived through two World Wars.

  • Ettner has seen 18 presidents in her lifetime, from Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump. Her favorite was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  

  • The first issue of Time Magazine was published when she was just 5 years old.

  • The first domestic refrigerator was sold in Sweden.  

  • When she was 10, the first transAtlantic telephone service was sent from New York to London.