Congratulating twin sisters Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse VanBortel on their 100th Birthday

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION congratulating twin sisters Gertrude LaGasse Gill
and Katherine LaGasse VanBortel upon the occasion of their 100th Birth-

WHEREAS, Twin sisters Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse
VanBortel, children eight and nine in a family of 11, were born on March
2, 1910; and
WHEREAS, They grew up on their parents' Wayne County 45 acre farm in
Walworth, New York; the daughters worked in the fields along with the
sons; they had no electricity and life was not always easy; and
WHEREAS, They played with fire log dolls and often wore matching
dresses made by their mother; they have worked hard all their lives,
appreciating the little things in life, working and raising their fami-
lies and trying to live right and do right; and
WHEREAS, The lives of Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse
VanBortel, fraternal twins, have been interwoven; they both went to
business school, lived for years in adjoining houses, centered their
lives on family and faith, and shared births and weddings, laughs and
tears, and all the joys and sorrows that come with a long life; and
WHEREAS, Now they have shared yet another, though far less ordinary,
milestone--the celebration on March 2, 2010 of their remarkable 100th
Birthday; and
WHEREAS, Longevity, which can run in families, seems to run in theirs,
but the odds against a pair of twins living to 100 are somewhere in the
neighborhood of 40,000 to 1, according to a member of the Gerontology
Research Group; twinstuff.com lists just seven pairs of living centena-
rian twins worldwide and Wikipedia lists only six; and
WHEREAS, While Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse VanBortel
could not be together for their birthday, both marked it with cake; and
WHEREAS, Katherine LaGasse VanBortel has resided at the Wayne County
Nursing Home in Lyons for the past five years; her immediate family
gathered there to celebrate her very special birthday; and
WHEREAS, Still not quite believing she's 100, Gertrude LaGasse Gill,
who lives at Parkwood Heights, an active senior living campus in Mace-
don, donned a birthday tiara and joined her family for a large party the
weekend after her centennial; and
WHEREAS, Gertrude LaGasse Gill continues to live independently, gets
around, has all her mental faculties, and says she'll shoot for 105; and
WHEREAS, Leaving home at 16 for business school in Rochester, Gertrude
LaGasse Gill worked as a secretary until she married William Gill; her
hobby was bringing up the kids and she loved baking and pets; and
WHEREAS, Katherine LaGasse VanBortel worked as a housekeeper, then
went to business school and worked for a lawyer; she met her husband,
Harry VanBortel, in church, commenting, when she turned 90, that "Some-
how, he always seemed to squeeze into our pew"; they married in 1932 and
remained together until his death in 1992; and
WHEREAS, As the sisters grew older and began families--four children
for the VanBortels, three for the Gills--they and another sibling bought
adjoining homes in Fairport, New York in Monroe County; and
WHEREAS, In the 1960s, the VanBortels moved to Clyde, where Harry
VanBortel had purchased a dairy; there, Katherine LaGasse VanBortel
became active in the Clyde Methodist Church, the grange and Eastern
Star, and avidly followed politics; and
WHEREAS, These exceptional centenarians, with their zest for life,
have inspired and enhanced the lives of their families and friends; and
WHEREAS, These distinguished women, who have experienced the incredi-
ble joys and sorrows characteristic of and reserved for those with the

stamina and courage to savor a full life, have inspired the lives of
their many friends and family; and
WHEREAS, These beloved ladies have enriched the lives of those around
them through their joyous and sincere love for others and through the
quiescent charm and wisdom which comes only from a fullness of years;
WHEREAS, It is the intent of this Legislative Body to publicly recog-
nize those who have reached such a remarkable age and who have witnessed
and celebrated the innovations, cultural developments and awesome
achievements of this country during the last century, while themselves
contributing to the growth and excellence of this great Empire State;
now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
congratulate twin sisters Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse
VanBortel upon the occasion of their 100th Birthday; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Gertrude LaGasse Gill and Katherine LaGasse VanBortel.


  • 07 / Apr / 2010

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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