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Senior center revels birthday of 103-year-old Mary Lou White

MADISON – Mary Lou White, who is 103 years old, celebrated her recent birthday with fellow members of Madison Senior Center.

Looking back, Mary Lou revealed several habits that have helped her live to 103. First of all, she doesn’t have the vices of drinking or smoking. She eats healthy.

Each day, Mary Lou reads in her Bible and depends on God’s word to get her through life. “You’ve got to have some religion to survive,” she said.

Mary Lou was born on Friday the Thirteenth — Sept. 13, 1916 in Clay County, Alabama and attended school there. She lived in the towns of Ashland and Lineville in Clay County, and then in Huntsville and Mountain Park, Okla. She worked as a hairdresser.

“Mary Lou got married for the first time to Johnny Martin in 1934. She married two other times to Tom Barksdale in 1960 and then Lauren White in 2002, who passed away seven years ago,” Madison Senior Center Director Vickie Parker said after talking with White.

A newcomer to the group, Mary Lou has attended the senior center about a month. “She likes all of the people here,” Parker said. “Mary Lou’s quote is, ‘They have all been good to me.'” Mary Lou also is a member of Red Hat Society.

White has two children, Lynn Sparks of Madison and the late Jimmy D Martin. Her caregiver, Cher Mack, has been involved with the family for the past 23 years, including the care of her late son who had cancer. Cher now is a companion for Mary Lou and brings her to Madison Senior Center.

Mary Lou is proud of her two great-grandchildren and her three great-great grandchildren.

During her 103 years, Mary Lou has witnessed many changes — practically revolutions — in technology and innovations of everyday life. Possibly the most drastic change has been the use of cell phones. Mary Lou said she does own a cell phone but doesn’t know how to use it.

Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. For information, call 256-772-6258 or visit www.madisonal.gov or Facebook/Madison Senior Center, Madison, Alabama.

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