Marguerite Kralik, a resident of The Village at Palmerton, celebrated her 88th birthday on March 19.

Maggie, as she's known to her friends, is a long time Palmertonian. She is one of 12 children.

"I was number seven. I always had someone to play with and someone to take care of," she says.

When asked how she met her husband, she smiles.

"I knew Steve my whole life. He was a buddy to all of my brothers. He spent more time at our house than at his own.

"His parents ran the Sokol Club on Lehigh Avenue; back then it was a gymnastic and social club for the Slovak residents. They had a bowling alley and held dances. Later, they opened up membership to everyone in the community."

Maggie and Steve dated in high school, and when Steve left for the Navy, they kept in touch by writing letters. Steve was wounded during the war and when he returned, Maggie was waiting. Soon they were engaged and then married on July 12, 1945.

Maggie worked for Barson Mills in town, for 40 years and Steve returned to his job at New Jersey Zinc. Maggie was an avid baker, her specialties being poppy seed and nut rolls, and kiffles.

Maggie is very active in her community. She enjoys talking to company and friends, but she is also a big volunteer. She helps everyone whether they just need help selecting a bingo prize, or joining in a craft event that needs a lot of hands.

She exercises, plays bingo, enjoys musical programs at the Village, and her favorite lunch trip is to the Bowmanstown Diner for a cheeseburger.

She is one of those people who choose kindness as a way of life.

"Treat people the way you want them to treat you, with kindness and respect, and you'll never go wrong," Maggie will tell you. It is the way she lives, and she is well-loved.

Maggie has three children: Steve, of Lehighton, and Glenn and Mary Jane who reside out of state.