ROSWELL, Ga. – Three years before World War I, Marianne Thompson Cosgrove was born on a farm in Louisville, Ky. She grew up there until the Great Depression forced her parents to sell their land and move to Atlanta. And for about the past eight decades, that’s where she has lived.
Now Cosgrove, 100, is the oldest resident of Hearthstone Assisted-living in Roswell. She has a story of perseverance and persistence that has carried her through 10 of America’s 23 decades. And May 17, she will celebrate her 101st birthday.
Marianne was 19 years old when she came to Atlanta. Her father worked for the railroad in Atlanta and she went to business college. She married Richard Cosgrove at 28 years old and soon got a job with the federal government as a secretary.
“She worked with the federal government for 38 years,” wrote Melanie Allgood, Cosgrove’s granddaughter and primary caretaker, in an email. “She was a shorthand queen. We would dictate letters to her to watch her write in shorthand. It was amazing how fast she could go.”
Allgood and her siblings spent weekends with their grandmother who attended All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta.
“I remember stories of her telling us the steeple was the highest thing visible in all of downtown Atlanta,” Allgood said.
Cosgrove was a socialite. She dedicated much of her time to her memberships with her church and the Atlanta chapter of the American Business Woman’s Association.
In the 1950s, Richard and Marianne divorced. Marianne never remarried.
“She was incredibly independent and worked most of her life,” Allgood said.
After retiring from her position in government, Cosgrove continued to work at various jobs until her late 80s. She worked at a couple of banks, according to Allgood.
Cosgrove lived on her own till she was about 99. She then moved into the Campbell-Stone Senior Living on Pharr Court in Buckhead.
In Campbell-Stone, she had a stroke, and Allgood moved her into a nursing home.
She improved tremendously at the nursing home, said Allgood, and afterward was moved to Hearthstone Assisted Living.
“My grandmother and I being her only granddaughter were always very, very close,” Allgood said. “She has always been there for me growing up, and I will be there to help her to the end.”