Super Senior: Doris Newton

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - In her small apartment in St. Albans, Doris Newton lives on her own. Pretty remarkable considering she’s about to turn 100.

“I get by, I get by, yes,” she said. “I’m very, very fortunate. I’m very thankful.”

Doris’ eyes are failing, but not her mind.

“I have had many struggles in my life, yes, of course. One could not live to my age and not have struggles,” she said.

A prolific purveyor of poetry, she wrote about the loss of her husband, Harry.

“I’m alone, he’s gone away, I think about him every day. We almost made our 50th year, remembering, I shed a tear,” she recited.

World War II brought them together.

“We met as England was at war, the enemy was nearly at our door,” Doris recited.

She lived near the White Cliffs of Dover.

“Of course, they were only 30 miles or so across from where we were,” Doris said.

She could see France from across the English Channel where the Germans were entrenched.

Doris joined the Army and soon was promoted to corporal.

“And where I see Radar on MASH, I think that’s what I used to do,” she said.

The company clerk was mostly out of harm’s way until one fateful day in London when an enemy bomb flattened her building.

“But you see, I had to keep calling, ‘Help me, help me,’ and there were people around me worse than I was because I ended up with broken arms and things. Some of them were dead, of course,” Doris said. “To this day it bothers me when I’m alone, because I feel so alone, when we had to be dug out from rubble that was forming from the bombs.”

She was decorated for serving in frontline Britain.

“This is Harry,” Doris pointed. “I had stripes and he didn’t, the only time I could pull rank. I don’t think I did it after that!”

“We cried with joy when peace arrived, with thankful hearts we had survived. The years passed by, then came the day, we sailed to live in the USA,” she recited.

They moved to St. Albans in the 1950s. Harry worked in the dairy industry and Doris was a house cleaner.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You’ve never been a wealthy woman.

Doris Newton: Oh, Lord, no, absolutely not.

Now, on the eve of a century of living, Doris has time to reflect and she worries about the situation in Ukraine.

“I have a lot of time to sit and think, so my mind does go back to war years, yes it does. Particularly what’s going on now, it brings it all back again,” she said.

Doris, though, is a survivor.

“I am alone for he has gone, but memories will linger on. My husband and my love,” she recited, finishing the poem.

A poet with a touch of whimsy.

“Now, the world comes to me!” Doris said.

Joe Carroll: I really appreciate your sense of humor.

Doris Newton: Well, thank you. That’s got me by many situations. And I will say to anyone, try to have a sense of humor, it will get you by.

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