Millie Borchert at 101: A life of exploration, family, and embracing change

At 101, Millie Borchert's life is a straightforward tale of adventure, adaptation, hard work, and family bonds. Her story, stretching over a century, offers a firsthand look at the major shifts from the 20th to the early 21st century, seen through the perspective of someone who has dealt with change through determination and enthusiasm. Currently living in Okanagan Chateau, a beautiful retirement community in British Columbia, Millie reflected on her life's journey. From her childhood on a farm to her travels across the United States with her late husband, Ernie, eventually settling into a comfortable life in western Canada and watching their small family of four grow with four grandchildren and the same number of great-grandkids.  

millie2 101Childhood values and adventures across the US
Being raised on a farm taught Millie the values of hard work and simple living. It was her shared passion for new experiences with Ernie that led them to leave Canada and venture into the United States, in pursuit of adventure. "We travelled and worked all over the US, seeing almost everything it had to offer," Millie said while reminiscing with a smile. Their travels took them to California, where Ernie started his career as an electrician and then the family followed construction throughout the western states. This mobile lifestyle was exhilarating and colourful.  Later they settled in Pleasant Hill, Oregon where son Gerald and daughter Jan (pictured below with Ernie and Millie) entered junior high school. This move represented a blend of their adventurous spirit and the tranquility they sought, setting the tone for much of Millie's life.

Returning to Canada
A desire to be closer to family eventually drew Millie and Ernie back to Canada.  This wasn't just a change of location but a transition as their children left home and they explored Canada together for many years. Once in their nineties Ernie and Millie decided to sell their home and move closer to family in the Okanagan. Finding a new home was a family affair culminating in their decision to move to Okanagan Chateau in the stunning natural beauty of Kelowna, BC. This choice underscored the importance of family for Millie. "The most important thing was to be near Jan," Millie explained.  The move to Okanagan Chateau marked a step into a community designed to offer care, companionship, and comfort in their later years.

Millie with familyLife in retirement living
Living at the Okanagan Chateau has been an extension of Millie's lifelong journey, filled with new friendships, experiences, activities, and the contentedness that comes from a life fully lived. "I participate in everything available, whether it's indoor or outdoor," she commented, showcasing her ongoing zeal for life. The community has provided not just a place to live, but an environment where she can flourish

“I couldn’t have chosen a better place”
As Millie looks back on her life, from farm to the vast roads of the United States, and now the nurturing surroundings of Okanagan Chateau, her experience offers valuable insights into embracing each stage of life with positivity and discovering joy in new experiences. For Millie, Okanagan Chateau is more than a residence; it's a venue for continued, vibrant living. Her advice to anyone considering retirement living is clear and impactful, "I definitely would recommend coming here. Coming here was the best decision, I couldn't have chosen a better place." 

The secret to her long life
When asked about her secret to a long life, the bubbly centenarian shared: "Live everyday life, keep active, and be grateful for never having to worry. Being 101 and still capable of doing everything I did years ago is incredible. I feel lucky and aim to be around for another 10 years." This infectious mindset encapsulates Millie’s approach to life. Through her eyes, we see not just a century of memories, but a reminder of the rich array of experiences that life offers.

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