Triple-Digit Diva


Born in the shadow of Wrigley Field, this centenarian got her strikes in the bowling alley

How times change. “When Carrie graduated high school, my Dad gave her a car. When my sister and I graduated, we got a perm.”

By Debra Goldie Jones

At 70, driving to work in Palm Beach, Bette Hunt wasn’t thinking, “I could live to be a hundred.”  She was thinking how tacky the transformation of Marjorie Post’s estate looked under new owner, Donald Trump.

Thirty years later she’s agile and animated, recounting tales of youth, work, love, success and, pardon the pun, undying gratitude.

Her father built custom rathskellers in Chicago, handcrafting Old World bars in pubs, cellars, even an open casket. In the bowling lanes above Woolworth’s, Bette met a man with “the most beautiful eyes” who helped improve her technique. She fell in love with the game, and him.

With daughter Carrie they moved to Michigan where his architectural renderings facilitated Montgomery Ward openings and Bette worked as a bookkeeper. Her bowling became competitive, earning money, trips and trophies.

Bette decided to move to Pensacola and help sister Amanda care for their aging mother. Shortly after relocating, she found the perfect job: managing a bowling alley.

For nineteen years, she ran the lanes, adding leagues and raising revenues.

As the years passed, she divorced, witnessed her beloved sister’s Alzheimer’s, started working for lawyers and, at 82, married an old family friend.

So what’s the secret to a long, happy life? Competitive bowling? Working ‘til 80? Naming

all your pets Schatzi (German for darling)? Bette says it’s the chocolate striped cookies.

Whatever it is, she credits God for her keen mind, health and blessed family.

Happy Hundredth!


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