107 and counting: Belanger celebrates birthday

MILFORD – When Marie Belanger was 100 years old she broke her leg and her doctor, fearing the worst, asked her if she wanted to be revived if her condition got worse.

Of course she did.

“Bring me back to life!” she told him. “I have a wedding to go to,” the wedding of her great granddaughter, Melissa.

That was seven years ago. On June 7, friends and family gathered together at Crestwood Healthcare to wish the family matriarch a happy birthday and to reminisce about her life.

Belanger grew up in Canada, one of nine children, and came here when she was 11. She and her husband Girard Belanger, who died in 1969, had six children and the family lived in one of four houses, now gone, across Wilton Road from what is now the Pine Valley Mill apartments near the Wilton border.

She was the last person to live in those mill houses, said daughter-in-law Bessie Belanger, and she live there for 55 years.

“She cried when she had to leave,” said Bessie.

Marie worked at the Hillsborough Mills and later volunteered at the Share Clothing Barn and for Meals on Wheels. She lived at the Mill Apartments on Bridge Street until she was 100.

Linette Davidson, Crestwood’s activities director, said Belanger is the oldest resident in the nursing home’s half century of existence.