Who’s the Oldest Person Living on Bainbridge Island?

By Cindy Jones

The oldest residents that we could track down are Eleanor Dienes, above, and Jane Furlong, both of whom turn 103 this year. While most of us weren’t even in diapers during World War II, Dienes was already the mother of four young children.

Her daughter, Katrina, would grow up to be an architect; her son, Stephen, became a builder. When she and her husband moved to Bainbridge in 1989, Katrina designed a house for them and Stephen built it on Edna Place, off of High School Road.

Furlong, one of nine children, grew up in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where she lived until 1994. Before retiring from her role as county auditor in 1977, Furlong computerized Cook County’s property taxes. Now she marvels at the ubiquity of technology—mostly hand-held!-in the lives of her four grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Furlong has two sons, Bob and Jim, who along with their families visit her often at Madrona House. Dienes lives at the Madison Avenue Retirement Center. She enjoys getting out into the community. Once a month she volunteers at the library, helping with used book sales.

And we can’t write a column about oldest residents without mentioning Russ Field, age 101. He moved here in the early 1950s and taught at Bainbridge High School. He’s fondly remembered by his students, plenty of whom are seniors now themselves