Governor Leavitt Celebrates With Centenarian Utahns

Governor Leavitt Celebrates With Centenarian Utahns

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Jill Atwood ReportingThirty-nine people, who've gone from candles and gas lamps to electricity and from horse-drawn carriages to cars, enjoyed the spotlight today. They were honored for reaching the century mark.

In fact, by the end of this year, more than one hundred Utahn's will be 100-years old or older.

Their faces reflect years of laughter, pain, experience and wisdom. Their proudest accomplishments, while many, include those sitting around them -- their children and grandchildren.

Governor Leavitt had a special certificate for each centenarian, starting with the youngsters at 100 years old all the way up to the oldest woman present.

Rowena Doxey/Age 105: "I’m getting older but not old. I think attitude is everything."

Later in the ceremony, Rowena ran into an old friend at the next table, Bessie Gardner, who is also 105, and an old classmate from grade school.

Bessie Gardner/105 Years Old: "I'm thrilled to death, I was hoping that if no one else was here she would be."

Across the room we found two sisters Ivy Brooks and Hannah Tomlin, at 103 and 101. Then there's Burt Rogers, who still likes to dance every Tuesday.

Burt Rogers/101 Years Old: "I hear you have quite a way with the ladies too. I don’t ask them for a dance; they come and ask me...they know who's the best."

Karl Miller's mom worked in the Governor's mansion years ago. At over 100, he looks so good, he says he can easily pass himself off for 75.

Karl Miller/100 Years Old: "I live on my own, take care of myself, all my cooking all my washing and, p.s., I don’t do any ironing."

Some of these folks will admit they have a secret to a successful long life -- good eating habits and lots of love. But some wouldn't say anything at all, except ‘see ya’ next year’.

The centenarians at today's event received certificates from Governor Mike Leavitt.

And, by the way, the oldest living Utahn, is a 108- year old woman who lives in Roy. There are at least ten Utahns who have lived to see parts of three different centuries.

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