TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Living to be 100 years old gets a person into an exclusive club; the Centenarians. More than 50 of them were honored at the 32nd Annual “Salute to Centenarians” hosted by the Pima Council on Aging and Tucson Medical Center.
“We’re so happy to be able to celebrate these people who have lived amazing lives and have done amazing things both here in Tucson and the other communities they’ve live in,” said W. Mark Clark with Pima Council on Aging.
The celebration of centenarians is almost like a “who’s who” of respected elders from retired generals, race car drivers, even an actor, “He played in 17 silent films as Little John Henry from Mack Sennett Comedies,” said a woman on the microphone talking about Don Davis.
A 1920 newspaper article described Davis as one of the most famous child actors in the world. After his movie star years, he joined the Army, “Don had a 28-year career in the Army as a colonel serving during WWII and Korea, teaching at West Point and commanding a base in Africa.”
Helen Musselman is a name you might recognize. She and her husband, Pappy, opened up Musselman Honda in Tucson in 1948. At 101, still works at the shop, “She still enjoys coming to work every day, talking to customers, and showing them the museum with pictures and trophies from her micro-midget racing days.”
The oldest centenarian in attendance at the event was Carmen Amado Acevedo at 110 years old. She was born on January 2, 1909 in Amado, Arizona territory on her family homestead ranch. She had one daughter, 2 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Her family says she brings a sense of fun and her quick wit to whatever she does.
“I’m 100 years old!” Frances proudly exclaims. Like so many of her fellow centenarians she says don’t hold grudges, “I’m not mad at anybody and I enjoy everybody.” Frances, celebrating a century of lifetime, one day, and one cupcake at a time, “my favorite cupcake?” she asks with a smile and answers with a laugh, “Anything I can get a hold of.”
It seems a sense of humor is also good for a long and happy life.