The oldest resident at Tower Hill Healthcare Center in South Elgin died Monday at age 105. Margaret Pace had lived through two world wars, the Great Depression and was part of a lineage that spanned six generations when her great-great-great-grandchild was born.
Melissa Baumgartner of St. Charles, one of Pace’s great-grandchildren, described Pace as an energetic, hardworking woman who was very faithful in her religion.
“She would credit her longevity to her faith and hard work,” Baumgartner said.
Pace had lived with Baumgartner; her husband, Brian; and their children, Rachel, 16, Shannon, 14, and Taylor, 11, and Baumgartner said her children spent a lot of time caring for their great-great-grandmother. Pace’s grandson, Tom Minnerick, also lives nearby in Elgin.
Pace lived in Baumgartner’s St. Charles home about six years before she became a resident at Provena Pine View Care Center in St. Charles. In September, she moved to Tower Hill.
Baumgartner said Pace was born in Milford, an east-central Illinois town, in a home with no electricity that had a hand crank for water in the kitchen. Her family later moved to Grand Haven, Mich., where Pace grew up.
She said Pace enjoyed baking and loved to eat ice cream. She said Pace could also recall details about her early life, including the cow she took care of at the age of 12 and the name of the person she first went on a date with. She said Pace loved to watch “The Young and the Restless” soap opera and “The Price is Right.”
“She was so sad when Bob Barker retired,” Baumgartner said.
She said Pace worked in several factories before she retired.
Baumgartner said Pace outlived her two children and three husbands. She would have turned 106 years old April 1. Baumgartner said Pace leaves behind nine great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild.
“She crocheted blankets for every child in the family,” Baumgartner said.