Fine at 109: Homewood Resident's Mother Celebrates Her 109th Birthday

Even a blizzard couldn't stop Jane Ising from celebrating her 109th birthday.

Johanna “Jane” Ising has always been a woman beyond her time. At 109-years-old, she has broken through barriers many women wouldn’t even attempt in the early 1900’s . After all, most women in the 1920’s didn’t even think of going for a college degree. 

Ising did. 

Born on Feb. 2, 1902, she earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Berlin in 1926.

Dr. Tom Ising of Homewood spoke fondly of his mother and her adventures as the two of them celebrated her 109th Birthday at Applewood Center in Matteson with Ising's fellow residents. 

“In her earlier years my mother loved to travel," he said. "She has been to every continent."

As Applewood Acitivity Director, Tiffany McMullan began to cut the birthday cake (chocolate, Ising’s favorite), McMullan told the attendees that Sam’s Club made sure that Ising’s Birthday cake got completed even as a blizzard was going on.

Clearly, even a business knows to pay honor to a woman that has been able to accomplish the spectacular feat of living to be 109-years-old.

However, Ising has done much more than just drift along in her over-a-century-long life. She survived the Kristallnact and World War II while in Luxembourg. Eventually, Ising and her husband, Ernst, immigrated to the United States where they settled in Peoria, Illinois where they both taught at Bradley University.

“My mother was the founder of the Peoria Planned Parenthood,” said Tom.  

But to Ising, that wasn't the greatest thing she ever accomplished.

"[My greatest accomplishment was] getting my doctorate …oh, and also having a nice son," she said.

In addition to her son, Ising has two grandsons and five great-grandchildren.

As her 109th Birthday party came to an end, Ising had a closing statement to share with the world.

"Everybody should enjoy life. People should not kill each other," she said.

Words of wisdom from a woman who has literally almost seen it all.

Patch is looking forward to covering the big 110 next year. Happy Birthday, Jane!


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