VISTA, Calif. —
A Vista woman is celebrating her 108th birthday. In this Zevely Zone, I met the birthday girl and the special guest of honor who showed up at her party.
There comes a point in everyone's life when you start celebrating the 'big birthdays' and for Ann Evans that was decades ago. She lives at Aldine Residential Care in Vista. That is where I found her surrounded with friends and family members singing 'Happy Birthday' to her.
For months I've been waiting to meet Ann to wish her 'Happy Birthday'. "Thank you," she said. When I asked her how old she was, Ann told me she was twenty-five. I responded, "You don't look a day over 22."
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1915, Ann was the youngest of nine children. "She never had children," said Ann's niece Carol Divino. But Carol says her Aunt Ann was always surrounded by love. "She has four generations of nieces and nephews that number about one hundred," said Ann. As an adult Ann lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, then moved to San Diego County in the 1950's to the present, first in Fallbrook, then Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Vista.
In the 1960's and 1970's Ann did volunteer work at local hospitals. She visited assisted living homes, entertaining the residents in her "Nancy Sinatra costume" as she sang "These boots are made for walking".
Ann and Carol sang the song to guests at her party, "These boots are made for walking and that's just what they'll do. One of these days they are going to walk all over you," they sang.
You may be wondering what Ann did for fun throughout her life. "Sharp shooting with a pistol," said Carol. Ann's hobby was target practice at a local shooting range. A newspaper article was written about Ann and her group, posting their target scores and showcasing the sheriff's program.
In 1975 Ann married Frank Evans. Twenty years later she became a widow. In 2015, when Ann celebrated her 100th birthday, she attended a special Padres baseball game. Ann threw out the first pitch. "The crowd exploded with applause and she waved to the crowd and walked off the field," said Carol. Sixty family members from the four generations of nieces and nephews attended the game.
During her party there was a knock at the door. "I think we have a special guest," I said. "Oh, the mayor!" exclaimed Ann's friends. "Howdy, I'm Vista's mayor John Franklin. I came to wish you a happy birthday," said Mayor Franklin. "This is amazing, you know I was here last year to celebrate your 107th birthday and this is quite the milestone so happy birthday and god bless you."
"Aunt Ann, you are 108," said Carol as her aunt opened her presents and ate cake. "108. Oh mama!" said Ann. There was only one thing left to do; blow out her candles and make her 108th birthday wish. "I want happiness for everybody!" said Ann.
Ann enjoys karaoke at her care facility. She offers this advice for anyone who wants to live a long happy life. "If you never hold onto grudges and you learn to forgive others, you will have found the secret to happiness," said Ann.
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