Tilly Prom to celebrate 85th by taking part in family-filled Fish Day run/walk
Delores Prom, who everyone calls Tilly, will celebrate her 85th birthday on Saturday by walking in the 29th annual Fish Day Portal Run/Walk with 30 relatives and friends. Her eight children and their families, including two great-great-grandsons, will join her.
“I like to joke that they’re having the world’s biggest one-day fish fry in my honor,” Prom said.
“Can you make that 75 (years old) instead of 85? I always say you’re only as old as you feel.”
The last time Prom’s birthday landed on Fish Day was in 2003. She treasures the T-shirt from that event as she will this year’s shirt.
Prom, who lives in Port Washington, hasn’t kept all the shirts from previous run/walks. She doesn’t know how many she’s participated in, but it’s been a lot. She didn’t walk in the early ones because her children were young but started about 20 years ago.
“I’ve walked every year since except the year I had a hip replacement and the year after that,” she said. “Some years I walked by myself, some years with my daughters or friends.”
Grandson Aaron Prom, 24, will do his first 8K run Saturday in honor of his grandmother’s birthday. A friend who’s been taking part in the Portal run since he was 11 encouraged him to try it.
“I told my grandmother, ‘I’m going to go with you,’” Aaron said. “Then my cousin (Cameron Streff) said he’d do the 8K also, and it started to mushroom. The next thing we knew, we had 10 people for a team, then two teams and now three teams.”
It could become an annual event, he said.
“We’re a large family and we’re all starting to go our own ways, but we all get together on Fish Day,” he said.
Not only will Prom walk two miles, but she will also handle race registrations with her daughter Sharon Streff, something the two have done for several years. They will be at the registration table at 6 a.m.
Getting up that early is no problem for Prom.
She can be found at the Feith Family YMCA in Saukville at 5 a.m. every weekday, working out on the treadmill and elliptical machines and lifting weights.
“Then I sit in the hot tub for a while and get home by 7 a.m.,” Prom said.
“Four or five of my children are there working out also.”
Prom is also an avid bowler and a member of the Caffeine Swingers Wednesday morning league at Harbor Hills.
Prom has five sons — Jim, Dennis, Paul, Mark and Dan — and three daughters — Sharon Streff, Terri Karrels and Marikay Aria. All live in Ozaukee County except Jim, who lives in Illinois. She has 23 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
The family was always close, Prom said, but became even closer after her husband Marvin died in 1977 at age 50. The children ranged in age from 10 to 25 then.
Her husband dabbled in real estate and encouraged her to get her real estate license, Prom said.
“I took the test on April 30, and he passed away May 10. He didn’t know I got my license,” she said.
Prom supported her family as a real estate agent. She worked for Schreiner Realty in Saukville, Coldwell Banker and currently for ReMax United. She considered retiring this year, but that probably won’t happen.
“I have my license until the end of the year,” Prom said. “If I take the real estate course, I will have it for another two years. I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll do. I enjoy working with people.”
Image information: WEARING HER 2014 Portal Run/Walk T-shirt, Delores “Tilly” Prom will celebrate her 85th birthday Saturday by walking two miles in the Fish Day event with 30 relatives and friends, including grandson Aaron Prom, 24, who will do the 8K run for the first time. Photo by Sam Arendt