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March 23, 2014

Lawrence's oldest resident dies at 107

Services tomorrow for devoted Sox fan Obeline Biron

LAWRENCE ­— Obeline Biron was a devoted Red Sox and also just as passionate — if not more so — about the obligation citizens have to vote.

But, to Donna Johnson, she was simply “grandma.”

“She was the best grandmother anyone could ask for,” Johnson, of Methuen, said yesterday.

Biron died Wednesday at Mary Immaculate Nursing and Restorative Center. She was 107, and believed to be the longest living Lawrence resident.

She had been a resident of the nursing home since 2009.

“She was sharp as a tack to the very end,” Johnson said. “When I would visit her at the nursing home she would ask me to bring things and sometimes I would forget. She would always say ‘what’s wrong with your head?’ She never forgot anything.”

Johnson remembers her grandmother as a wonderful storyteller.

“She loved to tell stories about her days in the mills. I remember her telling me about the Titanic (which sank in 1912). She had an amazing memory,” Johnson said.

She was born in Windsor Locks, Conn. on Sept. 14, 1906 and moved to Lawrence as a teenager.

Biron worked in the textile mills when she was a young woman. She was married to Wilfred Biron for 62 years. They had a one daughter, Evelyn Johnson.

Biron’s husband’s twin brother married Biron’s sister. They lived in a two-family home together for most of their lives.

“We are a very close family,” Johnson said.

Some of Johnson’s favorite memories of her grandmother are the summers she spent with her in Seabrook.

“We always spent our summers with her. We would stay out all day on the beach until it was too dark to play outside,” Johnson said.

Biron had a deep love for the Boston Red Sox. One of her most vivid memories was when the Sox won the World Series in 1918. She was 12 years old at the time.

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