FARMINGTON — Peggy Bigelow hit two big milestones on Thursday — she turned 100 and crossed “riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle” off her bucket list.

Prior to taking off from Edgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center where Bigelow lives, a pink helmet was placed on her head. She was then picked up and put on the back of Niles Yeaton’s motorcycle. Bigelow held onto Yeaton’s leather jacket tightly with one hand, and off they went. A big smile stretched across her face.

Yeaton’s wife, Sandy, followed the two on her own Harley-Davidson, just in case she was needed.

The ride was part of a planned surprise birthday celebration with family, friends, staff and others in attendance.

Bigelow’s daughter, Linda Piawlock of Farmington, had pushed her mother in a wheelchair into the community dining room at the center. Her hair had been styled for the occasion and a tiara was perched atop of her head. Colorful balloons were attached to the chair.

She was definitely queen for the day.


“We have a surprise for you,” Shelley Seavey, the center’s activity director, said before the ride.

Bigelow has always wanted a ride on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and had put it on her bucket list, Seavey said.

“Oh my goodness,” Bigelow said, when she was told about it.

Bigelow was born in 1916 in Johnson City, Tenn. During her lifetime, she was a stewardess in Alaska, a bartender in Florida and before she retired, she worked as a certified nursing assistant, Piawlock said. She lived in Farmington for 20 years.

“She is a wonderful, outgoing person,” Piawlock said. “She loves everyone.”

“Everyone loves her,” Seavey said.


Amid applause, cheers, hugs and kisses, Bigelow smiled.

When she returned from the short ride down Routes 4 and 27, she was still smiling.

Did she enjoy the ride?

“Oh my goodness, yes,” she said.

She called Niles Yeaton over to give him a hug for the ride.

She has always done what she wanted to do in her life, Bigelow said.


She said she doesn’t know how she has lived to be 100, but eating healthy and having good humor have played a part.

“She’s quite funny,” said her granddaughter, Ashley Roy of Farmington, who calls her grandmother “Gram” or “Grammie.”

“She lived in Florida when I was a kid,” she said. “She used to have the best tomatoes, butter pecan ice cream and fresh oranges.”

Butter pecan is her grandmother’s favorite.

“We always had a blast down there,” Roy said.

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