Frances Kompus, at a century old, is still playing catch-up with her elder sisters. On November 11, Kompus became 100 years old, and her sisters Julia Kopriva (who turned 104 in early November) and Lucy Pochop (who reached 102 in June) were also there to help celebrate.
In all, roughly fifty people attended the celebration that Kompus hosted in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in her little town of Atwood, Kansas. They all got married in the same church where they were baptised and confirmed. In a recent interview, Kompus said, “I enjoyed it.” “Everyone had a great time.”
When Kompus was a child, she lived on a farm with her two elder sisters in Beardsley, Kansas. During the two-mile journey to school, she recalls having to “run to stay up with her sisters.” What they did, I did,” Kompus said. “It was sometimes working and delightful other times.”
CREDIT: KSN TV
Their forefathers settled in Rawlins County as farmers after arriving from Czechoslovakia. Not having any boys meant that their parents relied on the three daughters to help out on the farm.
Frances said she would regularly use the tractor for “half a day at a time,” usually while towing a one-way disc plough or a rod weeder.
She reflected on how pleasant life on the farm had been. I kept a few geese and a few roosters as pets, and they were a lot of fun to play with.
Her family farmed around nine miles outside Atwood and prepared “excellent home meals” by slaughtering their pigs. According to Kompus, even during the Great Depression, when money was tight, her mother still made chicken and dry beans for the family.
CREDIT: KSN TV
Kompus believes that the nutritious food served at the Good Samaritan Society home in Atwood, where she has been since December 2019, contributes to her long life. Kompus cited several other factors, including engaging in meaningful social interactions, getting enough exercise, and “Continuing going.”
The Rawlins County Square Deal newspaper editor in Atwood, Rosalie Ross, has profiled and profiled each sister in her publication’s history. Kompus told Ross, “Oh, we didn’t ever eat nice, but we ate decent food.”
“They were the industrious spouses of farmers, and they raised decent kids, some of them still farming here,” Ross remarked in an interview with USA TODAY. Of course, it’s fascinating that all of them are centenarians in such terrific condition.
Conversing with them “was a blast in every sense of the word. They reminisce, share stories, and have a great time, “Ross had to say. “That was just lovely, in my opinion. A window into the past, so to speak.”
Credit: Fran Allacher
According to Ross, Julia Kopriva’s narrative was particularly memorable. Since her family spoke Czech at home, first-grader Julia was not allowed to participate in the school play because she could not communicate with the other students. By year’s end, Julia had mastered the language and was busy instructing her siblings and parents.
To paraphrase what Ross stated, “So you’ve got a determined young boy who says, ‘This ain’t happening any longer. Recent interviews also included Lucy Pochop, who said, “We done what had to be done in those days.”
According to Ross, the introduction of electricity to their farm was perhaps the most significant development after the enactment of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936. “Then they could have freezers, refrigerators, and little appliances, yard lights, as well as electricity to read by,” she remarked.
Fran Allacher, Kompus’ daughter who resides in neighboring McCook, Nebraska, said that the sisters’ time spent together increased once they became widows and moved into adjacent apartments in Atwood. The three sisters are now all grandmothers, thanks to their offspring. Both Kompus and Kopriva may claim the title of great-great-grandmother.
When Lucy moved in next door to Julia in 2000, “it was a chore for them to play cards daily, at night of the week, and dominoes – that was their must thing,” as described by Allacher. They finally found one other, and now they’re each other’s rock for the rest of the time.
When the sisters were younger, they often got together to watch the Mollie B Polka Party programme on RFD-TV on weekends because they liked going to polka dances in the local Czech community.
Kompus said, “Yeah, a lot of dancing in our younger days.” KSN, an NBC station in Wichita, Kansas, recently interviewed them, and they spoke about their background. Pochop said, “Dad carried us to school in a cart.” Kopriva told USA TODAY that she was happy to have sisters and that they got along well when she was a kid. “The presence of other people made the evening more enjoyable. We shared the joy of shared play, “This is what Kopriva stated. Yet, she remarked, “I get to be boss” since she was the eldest.
CREDIT: KSN TV
The family has been in Rawlins County and Atwood since 1917, when Pochop’s son, Victor Holub, began farming the family land.
According to Valyne Pochop, her daughter in St. Joseph, Missouri, they would talk to one another many times a day while they were both mothers. “While my grandparents were still with us, we always spent the holidays with all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course, Grandpa and Grandma. They’ve had an unbreakable bond throughout their lives, “the woman said.
The three were so close that they were dubbed “The Three Musketeers,” as Pochop put it. “There was never a time when they weren’t a part of one other’s life. That’s incredible in its own right.” What about that? The oldest sister, Kopriva, claims, “I don’t believe (any of us) feel so elderly” even now.