Century-old Lehi mother shares insights about rearing children and finding joy
Teresa Martineau Russon will celebrate her 100th birthday on February 12, 2023. She shared her perspective about living these many years.
Teresa was born and grew up in the Mormon colonies in Mexico. “Growing up, my family was very poor. My mother was a very resourceful woman and raised her children with very little. We raised pigs and used everything but the squeal. Mother’s sausage was delicious, and Dad’s ham was a treat,” said Teresa.
“Mama learned to treat illnesses and injuries with natural remedies,” continued Teresa. “I wish I would have learned some of her recipes. She could cure every ailment from cankers to burns. I wish I knew all my momma knew.”
She reminisced about hearing the first radio and seeing her first airplane. “I thought it was magic to hear music out of a box,” she laughed. “We all went wild when we saw our first airplane. My Papa was very intrigued with the transatlantic flight of Charles Lindburgh.”
When asked about parenting today’s families, she responded quickly, “it is easier for children and youth to get into mischief because of technology. Kids have access to much more information these days. Parents have a harder time keeping track of all that their children hear and see.”
“When my children were growing up, it seemed they had to use more of their own creativity. They would make things out of junk they could find around the house or yard. My boys made a car out of scraps they found. They also had fields and streams where they could play every day. Today’s children do not have access to the open spaces like my kids did. We made our own fun. I never had to worry about entertaining my children,” she said.
Teresa and her husband, Stan, were married for over 70 years. Stan was an artist who made his living making architectural renderings for development firms. He and Teresa lived lives of devotion to their faith. Between the two, they served sixmissions. Teresa served before marriage in Mexico and Stan in the southern states. Together they served in Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Chile, and New Jersey. They served many years as faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When asked what her secret to long life was, she was puzzled. “I still take care of myself. I do all my own cooking and cleaning. I like to read and crochet. I always feel like I have something to do. I have lived a good life. My contentment comes from a sure knowledge of the gospel.”