PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A celebration that was more than a century in the making took place at a Port Arthur nursing facility for a "simply amazing" woman.
Cornelia Dickinson turned 106 on Tuesday. Staff at the Bonne Vie Continuing Care Network in Port Arthur helped her celebrate the major milestone.
"It’s not every day someone turns 106, but today our sweet Cornelia is," Bonnie Vie said in a Facebook post. "Happy Birthday Ms. Dickinson."
Dickinson was born in Missouri but spent many summers in Beaumont to visit her grandparents. It was in Beaumont that Dickinson met her husband and later moved to Texas permanently.
Dickinson worked as an accounting clerk for Sun Oil Company, which is now known as Sunoco, for her entire career. After she retired, she went on to become an RSVP volunteer and served at Baptist Hospital until she was 101.
A sign at the nursing home for Dickinson describes her as, " a joy to all who meet her."
Dickinson is near and dear to all the staff, including Kenny Blanda who is the administrator for Bonne Vie and Lori Pamonis who is the director of nursing. One staff member who had nothing but kind things to say about Dickinson was Leona Taylor.
"She is very humble," Taylor said. "She is so sweet and funny. She is totally in her right mind, even at her age. She is so thankful for any care we give her."
Taylor describes Dickinson as independent.
"She has had a CVA (a stroke), has right-side weakness, so it's hard for her to feed herself and brush her teeth," Taylor said. "But, she insists on doing it herself but is very grateful whenever she does need assistance, and we help her. She loves hugs, especially from her big teddy bear, one of our male CNAs, Torrian."
Dickinson loves fried shrimp, her favorite color is green and her favorite flowers are red roses. Her favorite cake is angel food cake.
When asked what the secret was to living a long life, Dickinson said, "there is no secret to being this old, just living a normal life."