Minerva "Minkie" Apple Waldbaum, a former teacher and a French scholar, died Dec. 12 in Bedford County, Va., a week before her 101st birthday.

Mrs. Waldbaum graduated from William Penn High School and the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in French, according to her daughter, Elsa W. Stern of Merion. Mrs. Waldbaum also attended the Sorbonne in Paris for a short time.

"At 100, she was still conversing in English, Yiddish and French," said Stern.

Mrs. Waldbaum was married for 60 years to Saul Waldbaum, who was an attorney specializing in labor law and negligence law. He died in 1991.

Mrs. Waldbaum loved "French and English literature, Shakespeare, and art and anthropology," her daughter said. She taught French and English at Central High School and Philadelphia High School for Girls.

She enjoyed singing, classical music, painting, gardening, studying nature and the environment, according to her daughter.

At her garden on Camac Street, Mrs. Waldbaum grew flowers, vegetables and fruit. Before moving into a Center City apartment, the Waldbaums also lived in an apartment with a view of the Fairmount Park Azalea Garden and, for decades, were frequent visitors.

"When mother was 100, we were grateful to be able to celebrate her birthday because of her strength, wisdom, and many years of love and caring for her family," said Stern.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by sons Eric and Marc, and three grandchildren.

A private service and burial were held Dec. 15 at Montefiore Cemetery in Rockledge. Donations may be made to the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or Legacy International.

Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149 or mschaefer@phillynews.com.