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Refugio women turn 100-years-old on same day

By JR Ortega
Aug. 14, 2010 at 3:14 a.m.

For Alta Harvey, left, and Maude Hale -- who reside at the Refugio Mission Ranch Nursing Home -- Sunday is their special day. Bingo! They both are celebrating their 100th birthday.

REFUGIO - Taking life one day at a time is the secret to living to be 100 years old - at least that is what helped two Refugio women celebrate their birthday on Sunday.

Alta Harvey and Maude Hale live at Mission Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation and will celebrate their century-milestone with family and friends.

"I've had a wonderful life," Harvey said. "Everything is turning out good."

Harvey married in 1930 and was a housewife.

Harvey and Hale did not know each other until Harvey moved into the nursing home in April.

Still, they are just acquaintances.

Hale has been at the nursing home for three years and rarely talks.

Most of the time, her daughter, 79-year-old Kathaleen Linney, helps communicate for her.

Every so often, though, Hale's eyes come alive and what she says is powerful.

"I don't know life in another way," she said about her daughter.

Linney stopped talking and looked at her mother.

Hale had nothing else to say.

"She's always been healthy," Linney said.

Hale never smoke or drank and lived an active lifestyle, Linney said.

Hale has five children, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and possibly great-great grandchildren, but Linney was unsure.

Hale started working as a nurse at the Refugio County Memorial Hospital at 51 years old and retired after 10 years, her daughter said.

Before that, she was a housewife.

The two have talked about living to be 100 before, and her mother said it hurts to be 100.

"I think it's great she's still here," she said. "I don't think she thinks so."

As Linney helps her mother mark Bingo numbers being called out at the nursing home, Harvey talks about her love for Refugio Bobcat football.

Early this year, she received a medallion from the Bobcats for her support since her move to Refugio in 1951.

She never missed a game.

"I like to win," she said with a smile flashing across her face. "I don't know if I'll be able to see another game. I'd like to."

Harvey even traveled to out-of-town games.

Yes, at 100 years old, Harvey still has a valid driver's license, her son Don Harvey Jr. said.

"She didn't smoke, she didn't drink, she believed in God and she had an interest that made her want to live every year and that interest was to see the Refugio Bobcats play football," her son said.

His mother has always been young at heart, he added.

She enjoyed spending time with people younger than her.

"If you said 'let's go,' that was her middle name. She'd go," he said.

At the Sunday party, a proclamation from President Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Perry will be given to the two women.

The proclamation is another memory made in their century-long lives and the lives of their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

"It's wonderful to have her with you all your life," Harvey's son said. "I've known her for 79 years now. She's always been there. She's a good mother."



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