DuPont woman celebrates 108th birthday, lived through two pandemics

DUPONT, Wash. — Waving to the crowd from her third -floor balcony full of balloons is a DuPont woman who lived through two pandemics.

“That’s a huge thing for her — to be able to come out on her porch and celebrate with us,” said Patti Cooper, Patriots Landing’s activities director.

Monday marked an amazing milestone for Ms. Mary. She turned 108 years old. To mark the occasion, community members, first responders, friends and more sang “Happy Birthday” to her from the parking lot.

“We had a card that said, ’108 years old,’ and she would reach out and say, ’108? that can’t be!’” said Cooper.

Mary has lived through a lot.

“It’s amazing. She got to see cars come about and planes and the internet. It’s amazing,” said Cpl. Joshua Morley, with the DuPont Police Department.

Born Nov. 30, 1912, Mary’s lived through both World Wars, the Great Depression, 20 presidencies, prohibition and the Dust Bowl. She was six at the start of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. And now, she’s witnessing a second pandemic in 2020.

“She’s just a petite little lady with a heart of fire,” said Cooper.

Mary was married to her husband, Bud, for 56 years before he passed away. She has a son, granddaughter and great-grandchildren.

She’s traveled the world and lived in Chicago, Dallas and Southern California. She’s been a resident in DuPont for a decade.

“Mary is amazing. She’s been here 10 years. So many of our residents respect her. She’s almost like the queen of Patriots Landing,” said Cooper.

Cooper said Mary’s birthday needed to be celebrated, so she started planning more than a month ago. Safety measures and social distancing made it tough, but the community came through. They delivered cupcakes, 108 balloons, 108 red roses and the Seattle Seahawks sent her a special scarf.

“When I asked her what the secret to longevity is, she said to always wake up happy. It’s as simple as that. Always wake up happy. And I’ll never forget that she said that, and I try to do that. Words of wisdom,” said Cooper.

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