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Living to 100 years old is a milestone not experienced by many, but one centenarian in Houston, Wilda Wilson, attributes her long life to her overall perspective and attitude. She has overcome challenges, including being widowed twice and losing a son, and her positive, uplifting, and carefree way of living has helped her persevere in good times and difficult times. She eats what she wants, participates in activities when she wants to and enjoys life to the fullest. Wilson is the oldest resident at Parkway Place, though you’d never know it. She is constantly trying new things, such as Wii bowling, to keep herself busy. To acknowledge this tremendous occasion, the senior living community is throwing her a special celebration Tuesday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. The party will honor Wilson through a photo display, and family members will be present along with her fellow residents to share in the occasion. Wilson will receive a special plaque recognizing her accomplishment, and birthday cake and punch will be served.

Wilson has witnessed history and seen the world change dramatically since 1916, and she has continued to change with it. While she doesn’t own a cell phone or computer, she still keeps up with current events and follows her favorite football team—the Denver Broncos. Wilson grew up in Reamsville, Kansas on a corn and wheat farm, back when crops were harvested by a mule instead of a combine. She attended school through school in a one-room schoolhouse, and there were only two or three people per grade. She later moved to Denver, Colorado where she attended cosmetology school. She worked in a salon in Pueblo, Colorado until she retired in 1980, and still cherishes her graduation certificate as a keepsake.

 “I’m so thankful for the life I’ve had,” said Wilson. “My mother lived to be 102-years-old, which I think helps with my longevity, but I’ve tried to be as healthy as I can be so I can enjoy my life. I’ve been very blessed to come from a family that has lived long lives and to experience life this long. I’m looking forward to celebrating this time with my family.”

 Wilson moved to Parkway Place 12 years ago where her days are full of activities. She wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day to read the paper, press her shirts and walk the hallways; only needing the assistance of a walker. Wilson also enjoys spending time with her family, which includes five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. If she had one piece of advice to pass along to others hoping to make it to 100 years old, it would be to not smoke, eat the food you like and how you like it, and realize that life doesn’t always go according to plan—you just have to move on and be grateful for what you have.


“We’re looking forward to celebrating and honoring Wilda at her upcoming party,” said Sunny Chatagnier, executive director of Parkway Place. “She has witnessed so much history, and her presence and knowledge adds so much to our community—you’d never know she was almost 100 years old. We want everyone to know how special she is and that she continues to contribute greatly to our community.”

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