Mildred Vance celebrates 101 years

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MIldred Vance celebrated her 101st birthday Tuesday with her family and friends at Troy Health & Rehab.

Mildred Vance is 101 years young.

She “turned” that way Tuesday – young. There’s no other way to say it.

Mrs. Vance celebrated her 101st birthday with the enthusiasm of a six-year-old and a smile as bright as the sunshine of the warm December day.

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The residents of Troy Health & Rehabilitation Center gathered to celebrate the happy occasion with Mrs. Vance along with her grandson, Stewart Vance, his wife, Piper, and their daughters Sailor, 5, and Georgia, 3.

Mrs. Vance said it is a blessing to have lived more than a century but she had no ‘Fountain of Youth” secret to share.

“It just happened,” she said, with a smile.

However, she did say that “maybe,” living long could be attributed to how she grew up a country girl.

“I picked cotton, cooked, washed and ironed, so that might be the way to live a long time,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.

Young people today couldn’t do all that was required of a young woman back in the 1920s.

“They wouldn’t do it,” Mrs. Vance said, laughing.

Stewart Vance said sharing his grandmother’s 101st birthday with her was very special.

“Granny has always been special,” he said. “She made the best pecan pie I have ever eaten and the best buttermilk biscuits. I enjoyed going to her house on the Banks highway just outside of Troy. She and my granddaddy, T.K. Vance, had cows in the pasture behind their house. Going there was special.”

Vance said his grandmother had two sons, his dad, Jimmy, and Rex.

“She has six grandsons and a granddaughter and 16 great-grandchildren,” he said. “We live in Montgomery and are the closest to her so we got to spend this special time with her. But, plans are to do this again closer to Christmas. We’ll all be here then.”

Mrs. Vance’s husband died at a young age and she moved into an apartment on North Three Notch Street in Troy.

“She never had a driver’s license,” Vance said. “She was happy at home and loved to pick up pecans. She would get out in the backyard and have a good time just picking up pecans.”

Mrs. Vance said she enjoyed the simple things life has to offer and maybe those are the best things in life.

She was quizzed again about the secret to a long, happy life.

She smiled.

“This is a great thing,” she said. “Life.”

And she was speaking from the experience of living 101 years of it.