KILGORE — A Texas woman turns 108-years-old, making her part of a rare centenarian population.
Erna Meador celebrated her 108th birthday, Tuesday October 9, at an assisted living facility in Kilgore.
According to a press release sent by her goddaughter, Nina Verheyden, Erma lived in Jacksonville most of her life.
While Meador’s hearing and eyesight has declined over the years, her ability to communicate has not.
Her infectious smile and vigor is something others living at the facility look forward to.
“You look so good,” said one resident as Erma greeted her during their lunch hour.
While she was born in Texarkana, Erma lived most of her life in Jacksonville.
She and her late husband did not have any children of their own, but she does have six godchildren, including Nina who frequently visits and helps Erma out at this assisted living facility in Kilgore.
Even as the decades roll by and change seems to be the only constant – one saying that remains unchanged and still resonates are wise words from Erma's mother.
“She'd tell me to just do the best you can with what you've got always,” Erma said.
While studies show we are living longer, this centenarian is a part of a rare group of people.
It’s so rare, research shows less than one percent of the U.S. population actually reach 100-years-old – let alone surpass it.
So, what is Erma’s secret?
“Milk chocolate, but I like chocolate period,” she added.
Her secret to longevity is keeping her just as sweet on the inside as she is on the outside.