Charlotte Strehlow, left, with Bell Tower Residence administrator Sister Peggy Jackelen.
Charlotte Strehlow, left, with Bell Tower Residence administrator Sister Peggy Jackelen.
There are many reasons given for the increased number of adults reaching the age of 100 each year. For Charlotte Strehlow, a resident at Bell Tower Residence Assisted Living in Merrill, it’s her faith.  
As she prepares to mark her 106th birthday on July 18, she visited with Sister Peggy Jackelen, administrator at Bell Tower Residence and shared her words of wisdom.  “I can’t believe that I have lived to be 106 years old. I’ll tell you, it is important to be near your Savior. My faith and trust in the Savior has helped me throughout my years. Faith is the anchor.”  Then Charlotte added, “It is also important to treat other with kindness. That’s how we want to be treated, isn’t that right?” Sister Peggy agreed with her on both bits of wisdom and added, “It is a gift to share in Charlotte’s journey of life. To be an alert, happy, and content 106-year-old has been a gift to all of us at Bell Tower Residence.”  
She was born in Nebraska the year Teddy Roosevelt was president of the United States, growing up with three sisters and three brothers. She is the only surviving sibling.  “Winters were bad in Nebraska,” Charlotte remembers.  “The farmers had to tie ropes from the house to the barn so they could find their way back and forth during the bad storms while caring for the livestock.” Her father was a minister. “My parents were very strict because we had to set a good example for the rest of the congregation, but I didn’t mind,” she added.  
Her family was very musical and enjoyed performing in area church mission festivals with Charlotte playing the violin. “There were eight pastors in our family including Uncle Paul Mayerhoff who was a minister in the late 1800’s on the Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona,” Strehlow said.   
Charlotte married Bill Strehlow and they had one son, Gerald, who now resides at Bell Tower where they have the opportunity to visit each other.  She enjoys her visits from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Charlotte is proud to be a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Wausau, for over 90 years and has resided at Bell Tower Residence for the past four years.   
Bell Tower Residence Assisted Living is located at 1500 O’ Day Street in Merrill, a ministry of the Holy Cross Sisters.  Visit for more information.