So what’s it like to be 100?

So what’s it like to be 100?

Hon Hantgen
Hon Hantgen

Well, Hon Hantgen can be a woman of few words, but she tells it like it is.

“You take what life gives you, and you take it as it is” she says, with a big smile.

Hon, who lived in Englewood with her husband, George, the community builder, JCC founder, and federation executive who died in December 2014 at 98, has just turned 100.

When asked about existing for over a century, she actually will question you about your question. “What are you talking about?” she demands.

When I tell her not many people will get to experience her longevity, she gives me a firm stare and says “Really, that’s their problem!”

Funny lady, that Hon.

Well, maybe not knowing is a good thing, but inquiring minds really wanted to know.

She says she smoked at one time (yeah, Marlboros, those things in the red box), but that vice ended long ago. She even admits to some exercise and just a lot of good eating…like kreplach.


Well, last Sunday, this favorite resident at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh was treated to a birthday party by family, friends, Jewish Home staffers, and two students from the Thurnauer School of Music at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades.

So I know you really want to know how to live to be 100. So did I. But at some point, toward the end of our conversation, she said abruptly, “You know, you ask too many questions!”

Even I know when to end an interview.

Longevity probably equals brisket with gravy, and of course a kasha knish and a Dr. Brown’s cherry soda.

We love you, Hon, and mazal tov… even if you have no idea how old you are!

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