Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Celebrations

March 4, 2013

Roberts will celebrate 105th birthday on Wednesday

(Continued)

Knoxville —

In her life and travels, she has had brushes with prominent political figures. She once camped next to Dwight Eisenhower's personal campsite in South Dakota. She saw Harry Truman when he visited Melcher and she shook hands with Ethel Kennedy at the Marion County Courthouse during Bobby's presidential run. 

When she's not keeping an eye out for the politicians and news of the day, she's reading books. Roberts is especially fond of mysteries and other fiction. The mantra she repeated during our visit was "Read, read read." 

"People get a good education, but they do not know what's going on," she said. 

She lives for Thursdays, when a representative from the Knoxville Public Library comes to the facility to deliver books. She would be very happy to go to the library herself, but she fears she would be a burden to someone who took her. This fear of being a burden is also holding up her wishes to continue to be active in the Zion Methodist Church. 

Roberts wishes that some people were as willing to recognize their limitations as she has, especially when it comes to driving.

"If you aren't capable of driving, quit," she said. 

At her assisted living facility, she still cooks when she can. She compliments Park Lane Village on the food prepared for her, saying it is very good. 

Roberts has left her mark on a number of Marion County residents. Many who met her or knew her from the hospital, still come by and say hello. She inspired her sons to follow in her footsteps, one is a farmer and the other became a hospital administrators.

"I had a lot of people who were really inspirational," Roberts said. 

The centenarian enjoys a good, well-balanced meal, but that does not mean she does not enjoy the good stuff. To this day, she still enjoys pie and pizza. When asked her plans for her birthday, she was not sure what she would do. Her wish is to go to her favorite restaurant.

"I just don't think about getting old," Roberts said. "Every day I get up and thank God I'm alive." 

Maureen Miller contributed to this article.

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