Milford centenarian celebrates her 108th birthday

Marie Belanger, of Milford, celebrated her 108th birthday on June 7, at the Crestwood Care Center.

Belanger was born in Canada, and moved to Nashua, at age 11. As her faith was very important to her, she was a devout parishioner St. Aloysius of Gonzaga Parish on West Hollis Street.

Belanger said her childhood was a good one.

In roughly 1930, Belanger and her husband moved to Milford to start a family. They both worked in the mills; Maire worked hard spinning wool.

In later years, she lived at Ledgewood Bay, before moving to her residence at Crestwood.

Her grandson, Shaun Belanger, said “Memere,” as has always been lovingly called, is a bit of a celebrity at Crestwood.

“She’s very happy there,” he said. “One of her favorite things to do is she will go from the dining room into the kitchen, in the back area, and she talks to all of the workers while they’re cleaning things up. Sometimes they give her something small to do, to help. And in return, they give her an extra dessert, a piece of cake or something for her to take back to her room.”

Although French Canadian, Marie Belanger frequently speaks English to the staff and fellow residence at Crestwood. Her grandson said there are a few other French speaking residents there as well.

“They also have a nickname for her,” said Shaun Belanger. “Granny Gone Wild. If she’s in her wheelchair, she’s never in her room. She always out – and even though she’s hard of hearing, and speaks mostly French, she has conversations with others who are also hard of hearing but somehow they communicate with each other. She enjoys herself there.”