Oak Hill resident celebrates 102nd birthday

Oak Hill resident Mary Gibson celebrates her 102nd birthday Monday with her son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Marti Gibson (Robyn Dexter photo)

A resident of Oak Hill celebrated her 102nd birthday Monday at the senior living facility in Waterloo, complete with live music, friends and family.

Mary Gibson is originally from a town just north of Buffalo, N.Y., where she worked as a school nurse most of her life.

Family members said Mary and her husband started spending half of the year in Florida and the other half in New York in the mid-1980s.

Mary was very active in the church and enjoyed gardening.

She is one of six children, and two of her five brothers are still alive.

Her mother was Syrian, and Mary always had a passion for Syrian food.

Her daughter-in-law, Marti Gibson, said Mary’s job was her pride and joy when she was younger.

“She is proud of her time as a nurse and loved helping kids,” Marti said. “School nursing was her love, in addition to her family.”

Mary practices what she preaches, and attributes her longevity to watching what she eats and getting exercise when she was younger.

Marti said she was “spry” until just a few years ago, when macular degeneration set in and she began to lose her eyesight.

When Mary’s husband died in September 2007, Mary came to the Midwest to live with her son, Bob, and his wife, Marti, in Millstadt.

She enjoyed spending time at the senior center in Millstadt, and even had some of her Millstadt Senior Center friends at Monday’s big birthday celebration.

When the attendees of her birthday party sang “Happy Birthday” to her, Mary ended the song with a quiet but still audible “and many more!”

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