Valentine’s Day, 1914, identical twin girls were born to George and Gertrude Wood in Moorefield. Although Ethelyn died in 2012, Evelyn Sertell, a Tiffin resident, is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. Her family has planned a celebration for her family and friends. Her three granddaughters and eight surviving great-grandchildren are expected to attend. One grandchild is deceased.
After graduation from high school, Sertell went to beauty school in Columbus, graduating in 1934. Her profession brought her to Tiffin.
“I came to Tiffin to work in a beauty shop. It was in the Shawahan (hotel),” Sertell said.
Mr. Klepper, the barber, introduced Sertell to his daughter, Mary Alice Spencer. Through Spencer, she met Paul Sertell. Evelyn and Paul were married in 1939 at St. Joseph Church, where Evelyn is still a member. They lived in an apartment above the store Paper and Ink now occupies.
While Paul was serving in the military during World War II, Sertell opened Evelyn’s Beauty Shop and worked until their daughter, Sara, was born. Later, she worked at the Vanity Beauty Shop in Tiffin and taught at the Toledo School of Beauty Culture.
She and Paul were the owners of Sertell Sundries before selling the business. The new owners renamed it San Mar Pharmacy. After daughter Sara married Wayne Wax, her parents moved to Toledo in 1964, until Paul died in 1969 after 30 years of marriage.
“He had a massive coronary, like a lot of 50-year-olds back then did, from smoking all their lives,” Sara Wax said.
Sertell returned to Tiffin and went to work as a clerk in the offices of the Seneca County treasurer and auditor. She retired from there after 11 years of employment.
Sports, including golf, fishing and volleyball, have always been an attraction for her. She and her sister were high school basketball players; Ethelyn was a guard.
“I was the center for four years, and we won the tournament one year,” Sertell said. “I like all sports. I used to go to the old Y downtown.”
Perhaps working and staying active helped her to have such a long life. Sertell said she couldn’t think of any specific secret for longevity except to enjoy whatever she was doing.
Wax said her mother likes eating out and is not afraid to have a beer or a Manhattan.
Sertell said nothing remains on her bucket list. She has been active in many organizations as a Girl Scout leader, past president of Tiffin Emblem Club and member of Cotillion Club, Elks Mixed Doubles Bowling League and multiple bridge clubs. At St. Joseph, she worked at the festivals and belonged to the Rosary Altar Society.
A parent helper at St. Joseph Elementary and Calvert High School, Sertell also volunteered for the Calvert swim team and the YMCA swim team while her daughter was coaching and her granddaughters were on the teams.
“She still never wants to miss a swim meet or basketball game or musical event,” Wax said.
At her age, Sertell no longer can engage in sports, but she watches them on television, along with news, “Judge Judy” and a few game shows. Because Wax drives the bus for Allen Eiry trips, Sertell has participated in activities and tours offered by the center.
She also traveled often while her husband was living.
“I’ve been to a lot of European cities and English cities. I think I’ve been in most of the (United) states, maybe all of them. I can’t think of any I haven’t been to,” Sertell said.
“I just can’t believe she’s 100,” Wax said.