Two Columbia County residents recently celebrated their 100th birthdays two days and about a mile apart.
Vivian May Whyte Bock, a resident at Morningside of Evans, turned 100 on March 24, and Ruby Grimmer, who lives at Washington Commons, celebrated a century on March 26.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Bock attributes her long and healthy life to a positive mental attitude.
“I’ve just had a good time,” she said. “Everyone has been nice to me, and I’ve been healthy.”
During her lifetime, Bock was a homemaker, secretary and worked in clothing design. She moved to Columbia County about seven years ago to be closer to her daughter, Kim McLyman.
“She always wants to do the activities here. She just started back playing bridge,” McLyman said.
McLyman also encouraged her mother to get involved with painting. One of Bock’s paintings, a cottage scene and landscape, hangs in her room at Morningside.
“We had a cottage in New York,” said Bock, who loved to paint what she saw there.
At one time, she specialized in oils, but now she works with watercolors.
“She did portraits of my children as well as landscapes,” said McLyman.
Grimmer is a native of Augusta, Ill.
“I don’t feel like I’m 100,” said Grimmer, who doesn’t have any medical complaints, other than being hard of hearing.
“She takes no medications,” said her daughter, Judy Schoonover. “It’s amazing.”
Grimmer was born on a farm, and she learned early the secret to a long and satisfying life.
“Work hard and treat everyone with compassion,” she said.
Grimmer worked as a seamstress and in alterations for many years. She moved to Columbia County about three years ago.
“She was a wonderful seamstress,” said Schoonover. “She made all of my clothes.”
Grimmer said she enjoys living at Washington Commons and takes part in as many activities there as she can.
“I like to see the people here,” she said. “I have made very good friends.”
To celebrate her birthday, she had not one but three parties, one of which brought relatives from as far away as Washington state. Schoonover is Grimmer’s only child, but she has three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
Grimmer said she was surprised by all of the attention.