Frances Kompus turned 100 on November 11th, and her sisters Julia Kopriva and Lucy Pochop, who are 104 and 102 years old, were there to help her celebrate.
The event was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Atwood, Kansas, by Kompus. The site is significant since it is where they were baptized, confirmed, and married.
Kompus grew up on a farm with her two older sisters in Beardsley, Kansas, so she was never alone. On the two-mile walk to school, she remembers having to sprint to keep up with them.
She recalled, “I always did what they did.” “Sometimes it was a chore, and other times it was a lot of joy.”
Their grandfather immigrated to Rawlins County from Czechoslovakia to work as farmers. Kompus would drive the tractor for half a day at a time while the other two girls worked on the farm for their parents.
“My father didn’t have contemporary tractors, as far as I recall.” “We took gas, gasoline in 5-gallon buckets out onto the field,” Kopriva added.
“We’d cross the pasture, walk, and then stop at the creek on the way back to capture frogs and put them in our pockets,” Kompus explained.
Despite the fact that work was difficult, it allowed them to develop happy childhood memories.
“I had some geese to play with and even some roosters that I kept as pets,” Kompus explained.
On the farm, they also ate wonderful handmade food and butchered their own hogs. Their mother would cook chicken and provide dried beans to them even during difficult times like the Great Depression.
“Well, we didn’t ever eat fancy, but we ate good food,” Kompus said.
She said eating well is one of the reasons for her longevity, which is why she’s glad that the Good Samaritan Society home, where she moved into in December 2019, also provided good meals.
Being social and walking a lot are two other factors that contributed to her long life. “Just keep going,” she said.
“I think faith comes first, and thank your parents, grandparents,” Kopriva added.
The three women, who are all grandparents and have children, have always been close, but their friendship got even deeper after they became widowed. They retired to Atwood and moved into adjoining flats, where they spent their retirement years together.
After Pochop moved into an apartment next to Kopriva in 2000, it was custom for them to play cards and dominoes every night of the week.
“That was their thing,” said Kompus’ daughter, Fran Allacher. “They just got together and they’ve been their support for each other, forever.”
The centenarians loved attending polka dances in their local Czech community during their younger days. Until recent years, they gathered to watch the Mollie B Polka Party show on RFD-TV on weekends.
Kopriva was glad to have her siblings around while growing up. Luckily, they always got along.
“I’m glad we had company. We got to play together,” she said. But as the oldest, she said, “I get to be boss.”
When they became mothers, they would call one another two or three times a day, according to Pochop’s daughter, Valyne Pochop.
“We always had family holiday celebrations with the aunts and uncles and cousins and, of course, Grandpa and Grandma when they were alive. They’ve always been very close,” she said.
The sisters were so tight that they were dubbed “The Three Musketeers.”
“They’ve always been involved in each other’s lives. That’s just pretty amazing,” Valyne said.
Also incredible is that none of them feel that old, said Kopriva.
More than their extraordinarily long lives, it’s heartwarming to see the close relationship these three sisters share with one another and their families! Watch their interview with KSN TV in the video below.