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Coldwater woman marks 100th birthday, shares secret to long life

'I still have lots of love and laughs to give. I’m lucky to still be happy and living,' says Elva Laughlin, who turned 100 today

A Coldwater resident is celebrating her 100th birthday today.

Elva Laughlin, who was born in Toronto on Sept. 27, 1922, says the secret to living such a long life has been eating three meals a day — the most important being breakfast.

“I eat yogurt, Cheerios or Shreddies, and I have juice and coffee,” she said. “I eat that every day.”

For dinner, Laughlin says, she has to have two fresh vegetables, potatoes, and meat.

“I think the diet has to be the secret,” she said.

Laughlin is also active. She is a frequent visitor to Casino Rama. She was also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion in Coldwater for about 50 years.

“I used to bowl before my legs got bad,” she said. “I did that for many years.”

Laughlin is in great shape for her age, she says, noting she is still functioning on a day-to-day basis at a high level and is fairly independent. She still lives in her own home.

Career-wise, Laughlin worked as a nurse’s aide, looking after patients in a nursing home. She is a mother to four children — including twins who were born when she was 23 — which was also a full-time job, she says.

Now, Laughlin has 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. She was married twice and is now widowed.

“I learned to love people,” she said. “I love my family.”

Laughlin says she strives to be the glue that keeps her family together and is grateful she is frequently visited by family members.

“Every one of them comes and sees me,” she said. “I love it.”

These days, Laughlin spends her time watching game shows, solving puzzles, and cheering on her favourite sports teams — the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays. She is also still the most dominant cribbage player in the family, she says with a laugh.

The only real challenge she faces now is with her mobility. She is still able to walk but needs the assistance of a walker.

Laughlin admits she is surprised she made it to 100 years old, but adds with the way she feels now, she plans to live another decade.

“I still have lots of love and laughs to give,” she said. “I’m lucky to still be happy and living.”

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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