St. Joseph Woman Celebrates 109th Birthday

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 07/16 2014 05:15PM

Updated 07/16 2014 09:53PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Doris Wallace, a woman who has lived in St. Joe most of her life, celebrated her 109th birthday on Wednesday.

"She just persevered through hardship and keeps going and enjoys life," said Judy Richmond, a hospice worker who has taken care of Doris.

Doris was born in 1905. Teddy Roosevelt was president, the average life expectancy was 47, and the United States only had 45 states.

"She never did really pay too much attention to politics or government," said Virginia Chandler, the cousin and caretaker of Doris.

But now 109 years later, outside of her room at the Living Community of St. Joseph, friends and family celebrated a life well lived by eating chocolate and cookies - her favorite foods.

Inside her room, pictures of more than a century of life line the walls.

Doris enjoyed playing golf at Moila Country Club throughout the years and was an avid gardener.

She never had children, but her husband died several years ago.

Doris worked for Southwestern Bell as a switchboard operator and supervisor for 50 years.

Doris lived on her own until 105.
She's still relatively healthy, only taking a baby aspirin each day.
But the secret to her long life may just be good genes, luck and an occasional cocktail.

"She always did like to have a high ball with her evening meal," Chandler said.

Doris is now just 7 years away from being the oldest person in the country.

"She's frail but we're just hoping she'll live as long as she can," Richmond said.

But for now, family and friends are happy to be celebrating her century and nine years of life.

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