Country music fan enjoys concerts at 106

| October 2007


THEATER REGULAR: Vera Peace, right, sits in her favorite seat at Country Time Music Theater in Coffeyville, Kan. The 106-year-old music lover was joined by Thelma Francis, a fellow assisted living resident.

by Ursula Turner

Vera Peace never misses a show at her favorite country theater. You can find her every first and third Saturday sitting in the front row at Country Time Music Theater in Coffeyville, Kan., anticipating the tunes that will be on tap for the evening. There is nothing remarkable about this scenario except for one thing - Peace celebrated her 106th birthday this year.

She was born in 1901 in Kentland, Ind. She met her future husband, Carl, at a fundraiser in 1920. They married the next year, raised three daughters, and stayed together until his death in 1982.

After moving to Coffeyville, Peace went to work for the H.W. Read Department Store, where she was employed in the ready-to-wear section. She was often awarded a coat for selling the most coats.

To earn extra money, Peace baked cakes to sell. She specialized in angel- and devil's-food cakes. Some of her baking took place during World War II, a time when many food items had to be purchased with ration stamps. Peace would trade with friends and neighbors, exchanging detergent stamps for sugar and flour stamps to have the ingredients for her cakes, which were all made from scratch and sold for $3 each. She didn't need the detergent stamps because she made her own soap.

A true music lover

Peace retired from Read's in 1971 at age 70, to have more time for her grandchildren, as well as for her hobbies, which included crocheting, reading, music and listening to the radio.

'She didn't watch TV,' said her daughter Betty Sullivan, 'but she has always liked country western music.'

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