It was a small gathering of close family for the belated birthday of Reita Fennell.
On her birthday, she is most grateful that her family is together.
“My grandsons could all be together, the three of them. It’s wonderful,” said Fennell. “Friends, they came together (with) no invitation.”
Carmen Irvine says she is the third-oldest person in the country.
She’s only now starting to slow down.
“She just moved into Parkland (Place) this year,” Irvine said. “So up until that point she was independent, full on her own up until January. She has done very well. She is still very active.
She is described as a local celebrity of sorts.
Fennell, or “Grandma Deats,” does her best not to be defined by her age. One way to do that is to keep it a secret.
“When people see her picture, that she is 112-years-old, they are shocked,” Irvine added. “They think she is 10 or 20 years younger than that.”
She didn’t tell anyone, apart from her family, how old she was until her 100th birthday.
Fennell says staying healthy and keeping to herself gave her this longevity.
“I never did anything that bothered anyone else I guess.”
She says it’s also hereditary, as her mother lived to the age of 99.