BALLWIN, Mo. - At Meramec Bluffs Senior Center in Ballwin, Mo., they have assisted living, but Dorothy Hunter needs no assistance. The only reason she's using a walker today is because she recently tore a knee ligament.
"She's an inspiration to everyone who comes into contact with her," her niece Mary Baricevic said.
And she's come in contact with a lot of people which will happen when you're about to turn 107.
"I can't believe it," she laughed.
When Dorothy was born, Roosevelt was the president. Teddy Roosevelt. Her family didn't own a car, few did back then, but she does remember riding with her uncle when he was on sales calls for a local brewery.
"A horse and carriage, and I remember riding in that," she said.
There were hard times.
"I had an uncle who went to World War I. We saw him off at Union Station," she said.
And high times, like when she first saw Charlie Chaplin at the movies.
"Because he was so silly," she giggled.
She wed in 1930, but her husband Harry passed away in 1962, more than a half a century ago. And she never re-married.
"I don't know, I was never really interested," she laughed.
Perhaps she was just too busy at work. For nearly 40 years, she was an elementary school teacher. First, it was sixth graders in Normandy, and then third graders at Robinson Elementary in Kirkwood.
"Third graders are just a pure simple joy to teach," Dorothy said.
In fact, her niece read us a birthday card she recently got from a former student who was in her class in 1959. Dorothy admits she doesn't get a lot of mail anymore, which is probably because she does most of her correspondence by email on her new laptop.
"I play games on it and do some research," she said.
When you're doing something new, apparently you never feel old.
Dorothy had a valid driver's license up until a couple of years ago. She decided to stop driving when she turned 104.
The secret to a long life, Dorothy says, is everything in moderation but those who know her say it's more than that.
"Just to have that fighter spirit. I mean she has a powerful fighter spirit," Baricevic said.
"I've been so lucky health wise. I just get out of bed in the morning and go at it," Dorothy said.
So happy birthday Dorothy Tucker. Never has 107 years looked so young.