100 Years Young!

OCEANSIDE — Agnes McKee celebrated turning 100 years old on July 16 by dancing to big band tunes, climbing aboard a fire engine, and blowing out candles with family and friends.
Mayor Jim Wood and Oceanside firefighters were at the celebration. Agnes McKee also received letters of recognition from President Barack Obama and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
She was even brought in to a kindergarten class recently for show and tell by a 5-year-old friend. “Children wanted to know what it was like to be in kindergarten when she went to school,” Jane McKee, Agnes’ daughter, said.
Agnes McKee said she does not have any secrets to living a long life. “I stay very active and have been lucky to never have had a severe illness,” she said.
Thomas Fraser is the activities coordinator at Fairwinds Ivey Ranch where Agnes resides. He said half of the 145 residents at Fairwinds Ivey Ranch are more than 90 years old. Fraser credits residents’ longevity to their close ties with family and friends. “Their daughters, sons and grandchildren are constantly here,” Fraser said. “We really encourage them to come in and see mom and dad, grandma and grandpa.”
Staying active is also a key to a long life. Fraser said seniors enjoy card games, art classes and live music.
“Agnes is one of our watercolorists,” Fraser said. “And music is one of the things people love for life.”
Agnes McKee has seen a lot of life in 100 years. She was born in 1909, and grew up during the Great Depression. “I was 9 years old during World War I,” she said. “I do remember things and the problems going on afterwards.”
“My husband was in World War II,” Agnes McKee said. She married Henry McKee in1941, and gave birth to her daughter Jane in 1942.
“I was here to experience all those things,” she said.
Henry McKee passed away last year at age 99. “They were a fun couple,” Jane McKee said of her parents. “They had a lot of years together and enjoyed all of it.”
Agnes McKee attended college, worked at a variety of skilled jobs, traveled extensively and stayed active in community clubs. “She learned how to use the computer at age 95, and e-mails friends,” Jane McKee said.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” Agnes McKee said. “It’s been so much fun.”
“My life is not planned,” Agnes McKee said. “I tried to make the best choices I could. I’m not one of the richest people, but I’m probably one of the happiest.”

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