Woman celebrates 105th birthday - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Woman celebrates 105th birthday

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Area residents are living longer.

Thelma Johnson celebrated her 105th birthday today. She says, "I'm proud of being happy. I'm proud of living this long. God has blessed me."

Johnson still has a sharp memory. She says, "I remember I had a happy little girl life. We didn't have no money and nothing like that, but I was happy... Go play with that little German girl. We tried to catch a "p fire". Those are the prettiest birds. And still, they're beautiful to me."

She says she likes to play bingo, read the bible, and go out to eat at local restaurants. A nurse with the Craig Methodist Retirement Community says, "You can go up to her, and give her a kiss and a hug. And she'll accept you... You know, like a grandma to all of us here. She's the oldest."

People are living 10 years more than in the 70s. Local doctors say it's largely due to advances in healthcare and early diagnosis for illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The average person in the panhandle is living into their 80s. Dr. Brian Eades with Women Healthcare Associates says, "I think that one of the most consistent factors, tends to be a life of relatively low stress."

Johnson's advice to young people is to take care of themselves and treat everyone equally with respect. She says, "No hatred in your heart. Keep happy and be, 'you hurt me, but I won't hurt you'."

She plans to, "Keep on living and be happy."

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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