Last week, Myrtle Clark celebrated her 100th birthday with friends at the Little River Glen Senior Center. She attributes her longevity to staying active throughout her life.
"When you keep busy, you don't have time to get sick," Clark said.
Clark was born Oct. 18, 1902 in DePue, Ill., a small town by the Illinois River. When she was born, Theodore Roosevelt was president.
Growing up, Clark was a basketball player, as well as a piano player for silent movies. For entertainment, she would go the showboats that sailed along the Illinois River.
Her passion for sports continued throughout her life. She and her husband would attend games and bowl and skate. She played golf until age 80, said her son, Bryan Clark of Annandale.
"She's still an avid sports fan," Bryan Clark said.
Nowadays, to keep herself busy, Clark plays bridge twice a week, gets her hair done and reads the paper and romance novels.
"Involved. Sharp as a tack. And very interested in others," said Little River Glen employee Ruth Junkin, when asked to describe Clark. "When Myrtle plays bridge, she won't keep to her group. She'll play with everyone."
Her daughter-in-law Patricia Clark says enjoying life, not her diet, has helped her mother-in-law stay so healthy.
"Her favorite food is pie and she never saw a cookie she didn't like," Patricia Clark said.
Clark had three children and has eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
And if she were to impart one piece of advice, it would be to stay active.
"Keep busy," Clark said.