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Celebrating 100th Birthday

On New Year, McLean resident turns 100.

Margaret "Bunny" Ursin celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 1.

Margaret "Bunny" Ursin celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 1.

— While we’re all celebrating the beginning of 2012, Margaret "Bunny" Ursin will be celebrating her 100th birthday. Bunny still leads a very active life, promoting the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, and continually striving to help others.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Jan. 1, 1912, Ursin has lived in McLean since 1952, where she raised her family.

More than 80 years ago, she began teaching exercise classes and she hasn’t stopped since. Now, at the age of 100, she continues to lead two exercise classes per week at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, where she currently resides. She frequently encourages Vinson Hall residents to join her and other class participants in 30 minutes of stretches and balance building exercises.

When asked about her health and ability to maintain a high level of activity, she credits her healthy lifestyle.

"I’ve made a conscious effort to live well, but I had no intentions of living to 100," Ursin said.

She said she eats a lot of fruit, and very little red meat; has exercised regularly her entire life; watches very little television; gets eight hours of sleep every night; and never drinks alcohol — except that one accidental sip when she grabbed the wrong glass while playing bridge, which she found appalling.

Her favorite physical activities included skiing and tennis, and although she no longer participates in those sports, she said if it wasn’t for the distance to the nearest slopes, she would ski today.

"I’ve experienced a lot in my lifetime and I’m satisfied with the life I’ve lived," said Ursin. "It’s important to stay active… I don’t have time to be bored."

At age 80, she began volunteering at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, and continued until age 94, when she stopped driving.

Ursin believes it’s important to preserve the world for future generations. In addition to her altruistic activities and finesse for fitness, she is proponent of sustainable farming, energy conservation and recycling.

Ursin is widowed and has one daughter, Bonnie Moran.