Autumn Care resident turns 104

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 3, 2013

When Lula Vestal was born, William Howard Taft was President of the United States. The Titanic sank a few months before her third birthday, World War I began when she was 5, and the stock market crashed when she was 20. But for Lula, life has been great! Lula, who credits her longevity to “healthy eating,” enjoys a bowl of oatmeal every day and grew up eating vegetables fresh from the garden. She never smoked or drank alcohol.
On Tuesday, she celebrated her 104th birthday at Autumn Care, a long-term care nursing and rehab facility on Bringle Ferry Road. She was surrounded by friends and four generations of family including her great-great granddaughter Alaura.
The facility’s chapel was packed with more than 40 residents, family members and staff who applauded and cheered as the guest of honor came into the room. Smiling and waving, Lula was surprised when Kim Crowley, activity director for Autumn Care, presented her with a large birthday cake, a crown and a bouquet before leading the group in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Lula, overwhelmed by all the friends (old and new) at her party, exclaimed “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had!”