Texting at 102 years of age

Summerland senior enjoys communications technology from the digital age

By Douglas Paton

When Ellie Pattison was about five years old, her family got their first telephone.

It was an old hand-crank unit and, because they were on party line that they shared with about 34 other households, they had to listen for a very specific ring that told her family someone was trying to call them.

Ellie turned 102 this past week on Saturday, June 24, and even though a lot has changed about the telephone in the last 97 years, she has managed to stay up to date with the technology changes and has taken to texting people like she was born in the digital age.

“It’s a way to keep connected with family,” she said. “It’s very handy.”

The main advantage to texting is that Ellie has become hard of hearing and talking on the phone was difficult. Texting has taken away all of the frustration that comes with trying to communicate with people when you can’t hear.

Ellie Pattison grew up on a farm in Emo, Ontario, a small town on the Rainy River just across from the Minnesota border. They didn’t have a TV or radio growing up and all their travel was either done by bicycle or horse and buggy. They didn’t get a car until Ellie’s brother bought one. Even then, Ellie continued to ride her bike everywhere.

Eventually, as happens, Ellie got married and had four children, Lyla, Wanye, Evveret and Alice. As time passed, she followed them west to Alberta. She now has six grandkids and nine great grandkids ranging in ages from 27 to three and is able to keep in touch with them using her iPhone.

Ellie travelled a lot with her family visiting places like Florida and Antigua and 10 trips to Hawaii. She even made a trip to Summerland later in her life and wonderful little town that she wanted to call home.

“I came here to visit a friend,” she said, “and I fell in love with Summerland.”

It was the perfect place to settle down. Unlike where she was living in Alberta at the time, Summerland had everything. It had a library and a hospital and all the amenities she needed right there. She didn’t have to go to another town to visit the doctor, like she used to.

In 2008 Ellie moved in to the Summerland Seniors Village and is so full of life and energy that you’d never know she was 102.

Ellie also isn’t the only member of her family to live to 100. Her brother also lived to be 102.

Ellie spent her birthday with her son Wayne and her daughter Lyla, who are visiting from Vancouver and Alberta, respectively. And, she even had a little celebration with cake and ice cream at Summerland Seniors Village. It was a wonderful little get together and so much fun to watch as people come up and wished her a happy birthday.

It seemed like a fun day with friends and family.

The best part of the day, at least from my perspective, happened not long after I left the celebrations.

My phone lit up with a thank you message from Ellie, complete with emojis.

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Provincial program offers assistance to agricultural producers

AgriStability Enhancement Program benefits agricultural producers who saw an income decline in 2017

Documentary film fest comes to Kelowna

World Community Film Festival will feature more than 20 films from March 1 to 4.

DRAWL searches for Okanagan Valley accent

UBC study wants to hear from Okanagan residents

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

Sledding revved for recovery centre

Adult and Teen Challenge BC’s Sled for Eternity returns to SilverStar Mountain Resort Feb. 24

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

Owls soar to valley basketball title

KSS wins easily at Okanagan finals to represent valley next week at provincials in Langley

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Most Read