Elsa Partel, a resident of The Village at Palmerton, celebrated her 93rd birthday on Feb. 15.

Elsa is a longtime Palmerton resident coming from the close-knit neighbors on Columbia Avenue. She was born and raised in Palmerton.

When she was a teenager, her family moved to Lehigh Avenue. In summer she would ride her bicycle each day to Kunkle's Grove to meet friends and go swimming. Not knowing at the time that Gus Partel, her future husband, lived just five houses down the street and would watch her ride by.

When she was 17, Gus was at her junior prom. He had come looking for her. The two went for a walk in the park, and then she was smitten. Gus was six years her senior.

At 19 Elsa did some modeling for Polly Lesko, who owned a clothing and gift shop on Delaware Avenue.

"It was great fun trying on all the new clothing and helping Polly increase her sales!" Elsa says. "Those were great times."

After high school Elsa attended Allentown Business College and got a job at Leh's Cleaner & Dye as a secretary.

She and Gus married in October of 1941, at a Protestant church in Allentown. She later joined Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

The Partels raised five children. Pamela lives in Maryland, Linda and Ann in Palmerton, Peter lives in Washington state, and Kaye lives in Dallas, Pa.

Elsa enjoys many activities. She is a firm believer in exercise, and does so three times weekly.

She plays bingo, Scrabble, word games, and loves music programs.