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100 and Counting

Dozens of family and friends were on hand to celebrate a milestone for one of Reston's most exclusive, though unofficial, clubs — the Centenarian's club. Grace Dore, who lives at the Sunrise Valley Assisted Living Center in Reston, turned 100 Wednesday. "I've had a wonderful life," said Dore, who still loves to hook rugs.

Born Nov. 20, 1902, in New Bedford, Mass., Dore spent much of her life in Rhode Island before moving to Virginia nine years ago. The 100-year-old matriarch has seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and was married to Stanley Dore, a civil engineer, for 64 years before he died. The Dores met when she was a "copy girl" for a Providence lithography company and he was in his final year at Brown University. The couple met during a New Year's Eve Dance in 1919 and they were married less than three years later. Dore says her secret to a long successful marriage is simple. "I was always happy," she said. "Just be happy."

And her secret to longevity? "I guess I had a husband that took good care of me," she said at an early birthday party last weekend. "I guess I also took good care of myself. I exercise everyday and that is very important."

Gwen Leonard, who is one of Dore's care workers at Sunrise Valley, said her patient is "one tough cookie."

"She's got all of her senses," Leonard said. "I just love her to death."

— Jeff Green