Silver Spring, Maryland—With a spirit of adventure still in her eyes and the love for family always in her heart, Ms. Lesley Easton is about to celebrate a milestone birthday.
The resident of Riderwood retirement community will turn 23 on February 29.
Yes, Ms. Easton is a Leap Year Baby born in 1924.
"My birthday has always been a source of conversation and fun with friends and co-workers," said Ms. Easton.
She continues to lead a full life thanks to her close-knit family and passion for art.
A native of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, Ms. Easton graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore, Maryland. During that time, she met the love of her life, Ralph, in 1941.
Born and raised in Washington D.C., Ralph attended George Washington University. Like most men of his age, World War II was a call to service. A Master Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force, he was first stationed in Texas.
It was there that the couple would marry in March, 1942, beginning a 66-year journey together.
"Ralph was the best looking guy in the world," recalled Ms. Easton. "But more importantly, he was the most thoughtful man I had ever met."
During the war, he served in the Pacific theater in China, Burma and India. When he returned stateside, the couple moved to Indiana and then California. They would return to the Washington area permanently when Ms. Easton was pregnant with their fourth child.
Ms. Easton was employed primarily by Montgomery County Public Schools. Although she "retired" at the age of 65, she continued to work part-time with the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Program through the age of 91.
"I enjoyed being busy and surrounded by younger people. They kept me sharp and young at heart," said Ms. Easton.
Throughout her life, she always enjoyed sketching and painting. Retirement brought an exciting opportunity to take art classes and refine her skills. Trips with Ralph to China, France, Italy and Portugal provided creative inspiration.
As a result, Ms. Easton is a Terra Cotta sculptor with dozens of pieces decorating her apartment home at Riderwood.
"I like working with my hands. Art is a joyful escape for me, and I use the Crafts Studio at Riderwood on a weekly basis," she said.
With her big Leap Year Birthday approaching, Ms. Easton is looking forward to celebrating with her family. Ironically, her granddaughter, Carly, is "also" age 23.
"Things are so different now. All five of my granddaughters are so involved in activities such as sports and their education. I am very proud of them," noted Ms. Easton. Her new pride and joy is a two-year old great grandson who lives in California.
Whether it was picking up with Ralph and three young children at the time to "go west" to California or pursuing artistic endeavors in retirement, Ms. Easton has never shied away from trying something new.
"I think a sense of adventure is very important in life," said Ms. Easton. "I've never thought 'old.'"
About Riderwood: Riderwood is one of eighteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents. Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.