Pauline Cockerille accepts a legislative sentiment from State Senator Justin Chenette of Saco in her home in Old Orchard Beach Wednesday afternoon. - LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

Pauline Cockerille accepts a legislative sentiment from State Senator Justin Chenette of Saco in her home in Old Orchard Beach Wednesday afternoon. – LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Pauline Cockerille gets asked quite frequently the secret of living a long, healthy life.

It’s no wonder why people may think she’s an expert on the subject. Cockerille turned 100 on Tuesday.

“Everyone asks me how do you live so long? I say, well, it’s the salt air. No, I don’t know, good living I guess,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

“Just live a clean life, if you can. And associate with the right people. Birds of a feather, flock together.”

She said she never smoked or drank, and she used to be an avid walker.

“I always cooked from scratch, and I still do,” she said. “I don’t eat junk food or fast food.”

Cockerille sat in the tidy living room of her home of 73 years, surrounded by family State Senator Justin Chenette presented her with a legislative sentiment, at the request of her former neighbor, State Rep. George Hogan, who was unavailable Wednesday.

“Making it to age 100 is quite a milestone to achieve. Pauline has impacted so many in our community with her wit, energy, and passion for bringing people together,” said Chenette. “Spend any amount of time with her and you’ll realize how special a human being she is. It was very fitting that the Legislature honor Pauline for a life well lived and she isn’t done yet.”

Cockerille was born in Houlton, and as a young child she lived seasonally in Old Orchard Beach and wintered in Portland until her family moved full-time to Old Orchard Beach, where she graduated high school.

Cockerille’s family was well-known in town, as for 31 years they ran a concession stand on The Pier, and she has fond memories of listening to some of the famous musicians who played at the Casino Ballroom and going to see a matinee for a quarter at one of the local movie theaters.

“I’ve had a wonderful life,” said Cockerille. “I have no regrets whatsoever.”

Cockerille was married to the late Thomas Cockerille, who worked for the local post office and died at the age of 91. They raised one daughter.

“I keep telling her, she’s healthier than I am,” said her daughter Donna Gonneville.

Great grandson David Stone said he enjoys getting cards from Cockerille, because she always adds a quotation or adage – some inspirational, such as “Gratitude makes a better attitude” and some humorous, such as “If you don’t think anyone cares about you, try missing a couple of car payments.”

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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