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This is a story about an incredible woman, who at a late age, adapted her life to match her abilities, and by so doing, achieved amazing success as an artist; to the extent that she became extremely famous – indeed not many people can lay claim to featuring on a Life Magazine cover, as well as on a US stamp.


She is to be included in a book that I am busy completing entitled “Keep Pedalling!” The purpose of the book is to convince seniors that if they can find their passion, then the second half of their lives can be unbelievably rewarding.


Her history is as follows:

  • She began work as a hired girl
  • Married a farmer
  • Became a widow at age 67
  • Gave up embroidery aged 76 (due to arthritic fingers)
  • Took up painting. She painted over 1,000 paintings in 25 years
  • At age of 82 in 1942, one of her paintings entitled “The Checkered House” was valued at 60,000 USD
  • Was on Mademoiselle Magazine –Young Women of the Year at the age of 88
  • In 1950 National Press nominated her the most newsworthy of women (at the age of 90!)
  • In 1952 she published her biography (aged 92)
  • She was on Life Magazine cover in 1960 ( to celebrate her 100th birthday)
  • In 1969 a US Commemorative stamp was issued in her honour