BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s second-oldest resident is about to celebrate another birthday turning 113 years old.
Ellen Goodwill’s neighbors and friends at Advantage Living Center in Battle Creek celebrated the remarkable milestone a few days early with a tea party Friday.
Goodwill was born in Kentucky on Feb. 2, 1907 — Teddy Roosevelt was president. She eventually moved to Battle Creek, where she has spent most of her life. Her caregiver Stacy Lewis says Goodwill never remarried after her husband’s death nearly 50 years ago, never had children, and has some secrets to a long life.
“She never drank alcohol at all,” Lewis said. “And ‘Stay away from men’: that’s what she’ll tell you.”
Sharon Miller has known Goodwill since she was a child.
“I have known her for over 60 years,” Miller said.
Miller said Goodwill has always been an elegant woman who worked as a model and used to create window displays for local stores.
“She’s such a beautiful person inside and out,” Miller said.
Friends said Goodwill is still spunky. Lewis was amazed by her memory when they went to the fair last year.
“I bought her a can of Pepsi and she looked at the can of Pepsi and Michael Jackson was on that can and she knew exactly who that was,” Lewis said.
Pepsi is the supercentenarian’s favorite drink and plenty of the beverage was on hand for Friday’s celebration.
While she does not have any known family, Goodwill still receives many cards from community members and children. You can send a 113th birthday card or letter to:
Advantage Living Center
675 Wagner Drive
Battle Creek, MI 49037
In the Houghton, Michigan area Friday, a woman celebrated her 112th birthday. Stella Lennox said the secret to a long life is faith:
“You trust in the Lord, give yourself a kick in the pants and get going,” she told WJMN, WOOD TV8’s Upper Peninsula sister station.