ShareThis Page
Hampton/Shaler

Optimism, zest for life keeps Sister Elise 100 years young

| Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 1:09 p.m.
Sister Elise Renk, who turns 100 on Saturday, March 17, will celebrate her special day with family and friends during a 2 p.m. birthday party at Mount Alvernia in Millvale.
Sister Elise Renk, who turns 100 on Saturday, March 17, will celebrate her special day with family and friends during a 2 p.m. birthday party at Mount Alvernia in Millvale.

As a child during the Great Depression, Sister Elise Renk always enjoyed learning and would walk more than two miles from her home in Pittsburgh's Mt. Oliver neighborhood to the South Side library where she would borrow books to read.

As a student at the former St. Henry School, Sister Elise admired the Millvale Franciscan sisters who educated her, inspiring her to become a teacher as well as pursue a life of religion.

Sister Elise earned master's degrees in education and in secondary administration then served as a teacher and principal at seven Catholic schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 50 years.

Always eager to learn and push herself, in 1990, when Sister Elise began working at the former St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood, she learned to use a computer.

“I'm a person who likes a challenge and I don't want to become stagnant,” said Sister Elise, who will turn 100 years old on March 17.

“I want to live out my life interested in what is going on.”

She said she's grateful to be alive in the information age, and still spends time on the computer.

“I can still do games and they are a challenge because they make you think,” she said. Sister Elise also enjoys attending weekly exercise classes, fitness walking and writing letters to friends and family members.

Her secret for living to be 100?

“You have to try to be positive even though many times there are hardships that are negative,” she said. “You still have to try to find maybe a speck of good in it and enjoy what you are doing.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me