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The Lansing Journal journeys: Jeanette Bottos’ 100th birthday in Lansing


submitted by Hank and Mary Kudlo

LANSING, Ill. (May 12, 2020) – Jeanette Bottos (nee Komorowski) celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday, May 9, 2020. She was born in 1920, in Lansing, in a gray house on Railroad Avenue—the house still exists—and she traveled by horse and buggy to be baptized at St. Ann’s Church.

Young Jeanette lived on a farm that grew tomatoes for Libby’s canned food and beverages company. She was educated at TF North—because TF South didn’t exist yet. For fun, she swam in the Lansing clay hole with friends. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016.

To celebrate Jeanette’s 100th birthday, relatives came by on Saturday to decorate her yard and sing birthday greetings from a safe social distance. Well-wishers near and far sent over 200 birthday cards, a collection that weighed 16 pounds. The centenarian celebration also included balloons, photos, flowers, chocolate, and pie.

Centenarian Jeanette Bottos proudly displays a copy of The Lansing Journal along with the 200 birthday cards she received. (Photo provided)

Jeanette’s daughters, JoAnn and Mary, describe her as “an inspiration” to them and to her late son, Michael. Jeanette’s husband Bill was a loving, spiritual man who died at the age of 69. Jeanette has continued the legacy they built together, teaching and living valuable life lessons—for example, “Be the best you can be” and “Always be kind”—and making anyone who should cross her path feel special and amazing.

Happy 100th Birthday, Jeanette Bottos!

Remember the Lansing Journal Journeys?

The Lansing Journal Journeys is an ongoing feature that was honored for “acceptance by readers.” You do not have to be 100 in order to submit a photo. And though we did not print a May edition, participants might still be able to find April issues at Round the Clock, JJ Kelley’s, or Lynnie Ques. Another option: use your phone or tablet to visit thelansingjournal.com and snap a photo of that.

Some quarantine Lansing Journal Journeys photo ideas:

  • Take a photo of your kids reading The Lansing Journal as part of their e-learning experience.
  • Are you using quarantine time as cleaning time? Send us photos of The Lansing Journal in a room before and after cleaning.
  • Visit one of Lansing’s restaurants for take-out, and snap a selfie with The Lansing Journal in front of the sign.
  • Take your Lansing Journal on a walk around the neighborhood and snap a photo somewhere unique.

Email your photos to [email protected] and tell us:

  1. The names of any people in the photo
  2. Some information about the location
  3. The name of the person who took the photo

We publish Lansing Journal Journeys photos as soon as possible online, and we fit as many as possible into our monthly print edition.

Keep up with the latest local news and photos by signing up for our free Daily News email:

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.