“Oh, I feel fine. Nothing wrong with me.”
That’s how Oro-Medonte resident Jackie Gowland said she feels as her 100th birthday approaches.
The soon-to-be centenarian has a party planned for more than 100 guests to celebrate with her Aug. 13, one day after her birthday.
When asked the secret to her longevity, Gowland cheekily said, “It just happened,” but made note she has avoided smoking and drinking throughout her life.
She said having good friends is most important.
When asked what she was most proud of, Gowland pointed to her family.
She has five children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Born in Freeman, near Burlington, Gowland worked as a business secretary before marrying in her early 20s.
From there, she and her husband ran a mixed farm in Milton, where she lived until the early 2000s, with pigs, chickens, horses, dairy cows, crops, and an apple orchard.
Throughout her life, Gowland has enjoyed singing, making ceramics, sewing, and baking.
These days, she likes solving word searches, as well as playing solitaire, cribbage and rummy in her free time.
Gowland’s daughter, Donna, said she feels “incredibly lucky” to be able to celebrate her mother’s 100th.
“In spite of the challenges she’s had in her life, she’s remained kind and loving,” she said. “Mom is just sweet and kind and loves everybody.”
She has taken care of her mother in Oro-Medonte since 2018.
“I know how lucky I am to be taking care of someone like Mom,” she said.