CRESTVIEW — Vera Owen celebrated a milestone birthday last Friday surrounded by family and friends.
Owen turned 105 on June 14. She has spent the last 10 years living at Crescent Park Village, an assisted living facility.
“She has such a sense of humor and quick wit,” said Meg Lawhon, director of the facility. “She talks about growing up in Georgia and how hard she had to work. That’s why she’s made it this long and had such a good life because she started off working so hard.”
Owen’s son Jimmy, who turned 84 the day before his mother’s birthday, also lives at the facility. Lawhon said Owen's motherly instincts still kick in when it comes to her son.
“She is still the momma and she is still in charge,” Lawhon said.
When asked what his favorite thing about his mother is, Jimmy simply replied “her faithfulness.”
“She’s a Godly woman and she talks about that,” Lawhon added. “It shaped her values.”
Lawhon said Owen plays bingo three or four times a week and wins often.
“She’s broke the bank over 10 bucks and it’s a quarter a game,” Lawhon said. “To get 10 dollars, you’ve won some games.”
Ruby Wyatt, a housekeeper at the facility, has a close relationship with Owen.
“Ruby goes to her room every morning and helps her get dressed,” Lawhon said. “Vera’s kinda hers and she knows Ruby very well and she trusts her.”
Wyatt said she loves listening to Owen’s stories.
“She’s seen everything,” Wyatt said. “So much has been invented since she’s been born.”
A few members of Owen’s family were present for the birthday celebration. They told stories from Owen’s life and talked about things they had learned from her.
Owen’s niece, Dianne Morgan, said she was always good at math.
“When she retired, she got an algebra book and worked on it,” Morgan said . “That was just something she always wanted to do, just for fun.”
Morgan said another of Owen’s hobbies was crocheting.
“If you made a mistake, you had to take it all apart and redo it,” Morgan said. “She would do it herself when she made a mistake. She was the same way with cross-stitch. The back of the cross-stich had to be has pretty as the front.”
Owen’s sole focus remains the same no matter what age she is.
“I want to make sure I get to heaven,” Owen said.