To celebrate a rare milestone, one supercentenarian who still knows how to party made sure she had one of her favorite things to mark the occasion: beer.
The Sunday before her 112th birthday on October 18, Lucy Trecasse—the eighth oldest living person in the United States—celebrated with friends and family at Lund Care Center in Cabot, Pennsylvania. Trecasse spends much of her time at the center knitting, sewing or playing bingo (her favorite). Yet, every so often, she’ll open a bottle of beer, just as she did for her birthday, sharing a glass with a friend. She has long been a fan of the adult beverage—her family even brewed beer to sell to friends during Prohibition—and when asked exactly how long she has liked it, Trecasse beams with excitement.
“All my life! 112!” Trecasse tells PEOPLE. “My dad gave me a taste of beer when I was a kid, he just gave me a taste and I liked it.”
Treccase was born in Foxburg, Pennsylvania, in 1905, the year Albert Einstein introduced his Theory of Relativity, Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 26th president of the United States and the life expectancy for a woman was just 50 years old.
“There were no automobiles then. We had nothing, just a horse and wagon,” Trecasse remembers. “People came around at 4:00 and lit the lanterns on the street corners. Lamps were all we had to see by and do our homework, no electricity. It was difficult, but I survived!”
Her family was one of the first households in her area to purchase a radio, which they used listened to the nation’s first commercial radio station, KDKA. Treccase still listens to the station and their host, Marty Griffin, almost every morning.
Trecasse graduated at the top of her class at Butler High and worked as a secretary at Standard Steel Car Co., according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, becoming one of the only people from her class to land a job out of high school (something she remains proud of to this day).
She married her husband, Joseph Treccase—a doctor and World War I veteran who had an office in Pennsylvania—in 1928. She still remembers the night she was at a friend’s party and Joseph was apprehensive to approach her.
- Need a little inspiration? Click here to subscribe to the Daily Smile Newsletter for uplifting, feel-good stories that brighten up your inbox.
“He asked my girlfriend how old I was—he thought I wasn’t old enough to party! He finally got up nerve enough to ask me to a date,” Trecasse says. “He said he was off on Wednesday afternoon and that he was free to take me on a ride in the country. I think he had an automobile, one of the few.”
Joseph later served in World War II, and the couple was married for 52 years until his death in 1980.
At 112, Trecasse—who also seems to love to color pink just as much as she loves beer—still has some tricks up her sleeve, like reciting the alphabet backward in a matter of seconds (and she does it right on cue over the phone).
“I started when I was 4 years old, my dad made me and my brother say it backward,” she recalls. “He was our teacher. He made us learn it backward and forwards.”
Having lived so long, Trecasse has been asked many times about her secret to a long life. When it comes to that, she has two key suggestions.
“Don’t smoke!” she says. “I did not smoke, we drank milk!”