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Johnston celebrates milestone


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Frieda Peslar Johnston

February 06, 2014
Frieda Peslar Johnston, a resident of Grosse Pointe Farms since 1953, celebrated her 100th birthday Jan. 5.

Johnston lives in the house where she and her husband Hugh, built a rich life focused on their love of their nieces and nephews, their friends and their many interests.


Johnston was one of the few women who regularly skied "up north" at Otsego in the early 1940s. She reminisces about long wooden skis, walking up the slopes and singing after skiing with her friends who met at the German Club in Detroit.

One member was Evert Kircher, who built Boyne Mountain. Johnston participated in the opening of the ski resort there.

Johnston, an avid tennis player, enjoyed playing tennis with Hugh until she had her hip replaced.

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Once they turned 70, she decided that tennis and skiing were too risky. So they rode motorcycles into their 80s with friends in Grosse Pointe and called themselves "Hell's Geezers."

Frieda and Hugh, until his death four years ago, were passionate supporters of the Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theatre.Regularly, Johnston attends the opera and symphony.

When asked how she made it past 100, she said, "It is luck and a bit of genes."

Johnston's family said she is a positive person who enjoys more sedentary pastimes and is amazed she is a centenarian.


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