Mary Ann McKenzie Turns 100 in McLean

Mary Ann McKenzie Turns 100 in McLean

Mary Ann McKenzie of McLean turns 100.

Mary Ann McKenzie of McLean turns 100.

Mary Ann McKenzie never imagined she'd live to be 100. On Saturday, Feb. 4, McLean’s newest centenarian celebrated the occasion with family and neighbors in her home of nearly 65 years.

“What pleased me most was the response from so many people, even those I didn’t know, who sent me birthday wishes,” said McKenzie. “A representative from Veterans Affairs came by and delivered a medallion from the VA director. The local neighborhood group responded in great numbers.”

Born Feb. 6, 1923, McKenzie came to the Washington area from a small town in Pennsylvania during World War II after graduating from high school and eventually settled in McLean.

In the days leading up to the gathering, McKenzie, a Marine Corps veteran staff sergeant, had been preparing meals to freeze to have on hand for when her sons Bruce and Greg, as well as loved ones, including her 16-year-old granddaughter, arrived.

According to neighbor and friend Jack Tarr, cars lined up outside McKenzie’s house Saturday afternoon as friends and neighbors gathered to celebrate her birthday. Inside, the home was packed and cheerful. Four of McKenzie’s Marine friends from later years were there, along with her son, Gregg, still bleary-eyed from his long journey from New Zealand. One friend brought a large cardboard card with Happy 100th and room for everyone to add a note.

According to McKenzie, there is no secret to longevity, but there is to a life well-lived. "Just live day by day," she explained.

McKenzie said that while she may not be able to walk as well as she once did and is slightly hard of hearing, her days are complete, and her lifestyle is active. Tarr described McKenzie as “very sharp and talkative … and monitors her emails.” She is a confident computer user who enjoys socializing and shopping online.

“I don’t know what I would do without a computer to get groceries delivered. I don’t have to go anywhere anymore… I use my computer to go to my garden meeting and if I want to go to Sunday School or church I can Zoom," McKenzie explained.

McKenzie is known for her volunteer history. She served as the Lewinsville Senior Center Advisory Council president for ten years. "Their bylaws say two years but nobody wanted the job and I did it by default." At her church, McKenzie cooked Tuesday evenings for the Bailey Crossroad Shelter, and she volunteered as a corresponding secretary and membership chairman at a local pool.

“I don’t have any terminal illnesses and I feel good,” McKenzie said. “After 100 years, I had a wonderful day at my first and only birthday party.”