ALBANY, GA (WALB) – While some people don't like them, for most people birthdays are special days. That's especially true for Euna Bryant.
They celebrated her birthday Thursday. There was cake, friends and family and even a singing group. But this is no ordinary birthday party. It's a special occasion.
Euna's granddaughter Ronette Brown said that they were there, "to celebrate her 103rd birthday."
But age is just a number, right? And despite being 103, Euna is still finding joy in life. Walter James Brown is Euna's son. He says that "she enjoys listening to a few gospel hymns."
Born in Lumpkin, Georgia, Euna would go on to have eight children and more grand kids than anyone in her family can remember.
After picking cotton as a child, she went on to work for one of Albany's most famous companies.
"She's an ex-Bob's employee. She worked there for years," said Walter James Brown.
But while she's also worked at the Marine Base, she's known among her family for more than just her work ethic.
"She's very feisty, very outspoken and anyone that knew her, knew what was on her mind," said Ronette Brown.
Today's party for Miss Euna is a special event, but already parties like this...once a rarity...are becoming more common as life expectancy continues to increase. Just in the last few decades, the life expectancy of Americans has risen dramatically.
Debbie Blanton, the Assistant Director for the SOWEGA Council on Aging said, "in 1967, which I do remember very well, the average life span was 70. And today, the average span of life is 78."
Much of the extra long lives that people are leading are due to improvements in medicine, but there are other ways to keep that edge as the years go by...things like exercise. And exercise doesn't have to mean sweating.
"Anything that keeps you up, keeps you limber, keeps your joints moving, keeps you from stiffening up. That's exercise," said Blanton.
And in the coming years, people are going to continue to live longer and longer.
"The projection is in the next 50 years, a person can expect to live, the average age...you can expect to live to be 100," said Blanton.
So Happy Birthday to Euna! She's likely to have plenty of company in the century club in the years ahead.
If you want more information about how to keep yourself or your loved one more active in the golden years, you can go to the SOWEGA Council of Aging's website.