September 22 is National Centenarian’s Day, a day in which we celebrate those who have lived to the age of 100 or more. In America, more than 100,000 people are at least 100 years old. We are blessed to have dozens of centenarians within Sagora Senior Living communities and today we want to honor them and their stories.
We spoke with several centenarians across Sagora communities about their lives, their secrets to reaching 100 and what advice they would give the younger generations. Here are some of their answers and life stories.
Sammi Ruth F., – Lyndale Abilene Senior Living
Sammi Ruth credits her longevity to happiness, clean living and dancing.
“My advice is to be happy,” she said. “Dancing is something that makes me happy.”
One of her favorite memories is driving from Pittsburgh to Abilene as she and her husband moved to Texas.
“I grew up in Pittsburgh, so the sky was polluted from all of the factories,” she said. “When I pulled into Abilene 72 years ago, I asked my husband to park so I could look at the beautiful, clear sky.”
Sylvia L., – The Westmore Senior Living
Sylvia credits her longevity to her family.
The granddaughter of Polish immigrants, she was born in Pennsylvania in 1922. When World War II broke out, Sylvia joined the Signal Corps, moving to Washington DC, where she worked in the newly constructed Pentagon.
After the war, Sylvia married Archibald, her roommate’s brother and a former Marine in the South Pacific. They raised four children together.
Sylvia says the highlight of her life has been “raising a wonderful family.”
Mary T, – The Brennity at Daphne Assisted Living & Memory Care
“I don’t have any secret to longevity,” Mary says. “I just like everybody!”
Mary was born in Birmingham in 1917. At age 105, she credits her longevity to “good genes.”
Mary says that a key to life is to be happy and respectful.
“Mind your parents and do what they say to do,” she said. “Learn good from bad.”
Throughout her life, she has seen many scientific advancements. Her favorite was when black and white television gave way to color.
Jim H. – Heritage Place Senior Living
How do you live to be 100? According to Jim, the key is faith and clean living.
“Live a good, clean life and honor our Father,” he said.
His favorite memory was the end of World War II in 1945.
When asked what advice he would give younger people, his response was simple.
“You have to treat everyone like you yourself want to be treated,” he said.
Georgia R. – Landon Ridge Alamo Ranch Senior Living
Georgia spent her early years in rural Texas. She was born in Estelline, a small town in the Texas Panhandle. A few years later, the family moved to Red River County, where she graduated high school. Georgia married her high school sweetheart and became a military wife after the outbreak of World War II.
She says a healthy diet has been key to her reaching 101. She rarely drinks, save for a glass of wine on a special occasion, and has never been one for fast food. She credits her determination and faith for guiding her and helping her overcome the challenges in her life.
Growing up during the depression and World War II impacted her, as did the social and technological advancements that followed.
“I wish everyone could see through my eyes and realize how blessed we are to have all the modern conveniences and benefits that make our lives so much easier than it was 100 years ago, she said. “It disappoints me that some people don’t count their blessings.”
What advice would she give younger people?
“I would encourage them to always be fair, honest and to work hard for things they want and need,” she said. “It is equally important they spend time enjoying life, appreciating what they have and the many blessings that have been given to them.”
We are so grateful for our residents and their willingness to share their advice, life stories and unique perspectives with the world. We learn so much from them and we hope that you can too!