In the Atlantic Ocean, the Titanic sank resulting in the loss of more than 1,500 lives. Stockholm, Sweden was the site for the Summer Olympic Games and the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Giants, three games to one, in the World Series.
The year was 1912. In the same year, Placerville resident Pauline Byrom Eckels was born in Jesse, Okla.
On Sunday, June 24, Eckels celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends at The Pines at Placerville Healthcare Center.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Eckels, who joked about the early afternoon celebration. “I didn’t think it was going to start so early.”
Eckels was the youngest of three children growing up in Jesse.
“It wasn’t too large of a town,” said Eckels.
After she turned a year, Eckels parents moved to Clinton, Okla.
She lived in Clinton until 1939, when she was 27. At that time her first husband, Marshall White, and their four children moved to Orangevale.
White worked while she was a homemaker, raising their children.
When her first husband passed away, Eckels worked in retail and continued to work until she remarried. The second husband died and she married a third time outliving that husband, as well.
Neil White, 76, who lives in Arizona, is the lone survivor among her children.
White was present at the birthday party in Placerville along with his wife Mary and their adult children. Extended family members and friends were also at the party.
Western music is a favorite of Eckels. She credits her upbringing in Oklahoma for her passion for western music. She loved to dance during the Big Band era.
“She danced quite a bit,” White said. “I think that explains her longevity.”
Eckels said, “I love dancing.”
The western interest also dictated what became television favorites.
Eckels said she enjoyed watching “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke.” She also believes actor John Wayne is one of the best actors when it came to starring in western movies.
“I like them all,” Eckels said.
She also loved to sing. While growing up in Oklahoma, she and her brother and sister teamed up with their father to sing in church. The trio even sang on the radio.
After moving to California, Eckels and her family attended a Baptist church in the Sacramento area, then switched to attending different non-denominational churches in the Sacramento area.
“They are all about the same,” Eckels said.
Hard work and family are ingredients to living a long life, Eckels noted.
Eckels became a resident of The Pines of Placerville Healthcare Center last December. She lived in Sacramento prior.
She’s adjusted to the climate of living in Placerville after many years in the valley.
“It gets pretty cold (in Placerville),” Eckels said.
While sitting outside with her family, she saw a deer run across the parking lot — something Eckels said she’d never seen until that moment.
“I’m not outside much,” she said.
Eckels has four grandchildren, seven great-children and three great-great grandchildren with another great-grandchild due in September.
“Five generations,” White said.
Her family and friends, plus staff of the healthcare facility threw the 100th birthday party two days prior to the actual date and then the family celebrated with her on birthday, also at the facility.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.