Frances Kompus celebrated her 100th Birthday last November 11th. Her sisters Julia Kopriva (104) and Lucy Pochop (102), helped her celebrate the occasion.
Kompus held the event at Atwood’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The location is special because it’s where they were baptized, confirmed, and, eventually, married.
Kompus grew up on a Kansas farm with her older sisters in Beardsley. Kompus recalled running two miles to keep up with her sisters on the two-mile walk to school.
“I always did what they did,” she recalled. “Sometimes that was working and sometimes that was fun.”
Their grandparents moved from Czechoslovakia to become farmers in Rawlins County. Kompus ran the tractor for half an hour while Kompus and the three girls worked on the farm.
“What I remember well is my father didn’t have modern tractors. We took gas, gasoline out in the field in 5-gallon buckets,” Kopriva said.
“We’d cross the pasture, we would walk, and then on the way back, we would stop at the creek and catch frogs, put them in our pockets,” Kompus added.
Although their childhood memories were not easy, they were able to make good memories through hard work.
“I had a few geese to play with and even had some roosters I made pets,” Kompus said.
They also enjoyed homemade food on the farm and butchered their own pork. Their mother would cook chicken for them and then serve them dried beans, even in 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.
Socializing and walking a lot are other keys to her longevity. “Keep going,” she said.
As for Kopriva, she said: “I think faith comes first and thank your parents, grandparents.”
The three women, all grandmothers and having children, have been close friends since childhood. But their bond strengthened when each of them became widows. They lived in adjoining apartments in Atwood, and enjoyed their retirement years together.
Pochop and Kopriva moved into an apartment near each other in 2000. It was a custom for them to play dominoes and cards every night.
“That was their thing,” said Kompus’ daughter, Fran Allacher. “They just got together and they’ve been their support for each other, forever.”
In their youth, the centenarians enjoyed attending polka dances in their Czech community. They gathered on weekends to watch the Mollie B Polka Party on RFD TV until recent years.
Kopriva was happy to have her siblings as she grew up. 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.
Kopriva said that it is also amazing that none of them feel old.
More than their extraordinarily long lives, it’s heartwarming to see the close relationship these three sisters share with one another and their families! You can watch their interview with KSN TV below.
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