Most of us won't be lucky enough to reach our 103rd birthday, let alone have the energy to dance dressed like Wonder Woman on our 103rd birthday — but not Mary Cotter. She claims that the secret to a long life is to "Just keep busy." (Huffington Post)
She celebrated her milestone birthday on October 12th, 2015 at the Montclair Senior Center. She didn't celebrate as a resident, but as a volunteer. Cotter has been volunteering at the senior center for the past 25 years (ABC 7). A spokesperson for the senior center, Ester Vargas Pipersky, said to the Huffington Post, "She's like the Energizer bunny that keeps on going."
According to ABC 7, Cotter drives herself to the center five days a week, "rain or shine." While she's undeniably a ball of energy, she's also modest about her years. She told ABC 7, "I don't know, just another day went by." You go, Mary!
Mary Cotter proves that you can be young at heart at any age, and she's certainly in good company. This is Maude Harlow, a woman who spent her whole life dreaming about shopping on Chicago's extravagant State Street. She finally got her wish, one month shy of her 104th birthday. She even got an official welcome from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Harlow's "bucket list" was fulfilled thanks to her hospice care service, Passages Hospice. After traveling 60 miles northeast, Maude got to live her dream of perusing through Macy's (formerly the original Marshall Fields at 111 N. State Street), where she was given a free bag by Calvin Klein. Meanwhile, she gave the photographer an infectious smile.
Maude tried on some hats (red is definitely her color!) and had tea in the Walnut Room — which is famous for being the first restaurant in a department store (and for its delicious Frango mint pie). All and all, the trip was a success. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked her if she was having a good time, she chirped, "Oh yeah!"
You're never too old to embrace fitness, just ask Constance Tillet. At 77, with two knee replacements, she's fallen in love with CrossFit — and CrossFit has fallen in love with her. According to her gym owner David Osorio, "People love seeing her. She lights up the room when she comes in." (Local 8 Now)
Thanks to CrossFit, her diabetes is under control and she's lost fifty pounds. More importantly, CrossFit has given her a whole new community. When her husband died, her gym buddies were there standing by her side. Says Tillet, "CrossFit is my family, my children and I mean it with the bottom of my heart." (Local 8 Now)
Some people spend their whole lives dreaming about throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. At 105, Agnes McKee got to live that dream. Her late husband was a baseball player and a veteran, so when the Padres were having a game in honor of the military, they rang her up to throw the first pitch. (People) The Internet had fun with noting how her throw was much better than 50 Cent's pitch was for the New York Mets.
Margaret Dunning's 1930 Packard 740 Roadster is in great condition, but it took a lot of work. When she bought it in 1949, it was a mess, but she fixed it up so well that it became the first vehicle to earn a perfect 100-point score by the Classic Car Club of America. (Ohio.com) As if that weren't impressive enough, the 102-year-old(!!!) woman still changes her own oil. Says Dunning, "I love the old cars. I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins."
11. Helen Catherine Kavanagh: Grandma and Flower Girl
When Helen Catherine Kavanagh's granddaughter asked her to be the flower girl at her wedding, she first thought it was a joke. But bride Laura VanPelt assured her that she was serious. At age 95, Helen delighted the guests when she walked down the aisle, throwing petals with a huge smile on her face. Helen called it, "The biggest thrill I've ever had." (MLive.com)
92-year-old Joy Lofthouse was one of Britain's few female pilots during World War II. Out of the 18 different aircrafts that she flew, her absolute favorite was the Spitfire. That's why, when she was called to fly in a Spitfire in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, there was zero hesitation. She can't get enough of aviation, telling BBC, "It's the nearest thing to having wings of your own and flying that I've known."
Eleanor Kops was halfway through college when she took a break in 1947 to marry her late husband, Lyle. The "break" turned out to be a few decades, and during that time she raised five daughters. In 2011, her husband died and she felt "a void that needed to be filled." That's when she went back to school. She graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015 and celebrated by partying with over 30 of her relatives. Says Kops, "I finally made it!" (Journal Star)