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Roanoke woman celebrated her 111th birthday



Roanoke, Virginia – Pauline Cook was treated to a birthday serenade on Friday morning, during which her Harmony Assisted Living neighbors joined in the singing.

Cook celebrated her 111th birthday yesterday.

Cook, who has lived in California for the majority of her life, moved to the Roanoke Valley two years ago with her daughter and son-in-law. She was Richard Nixon’s classmate in high school and college while she was growing up in Whittier.

“Never really went out with him, never dated him, but I liked him,” Cook told us Friday morning. “Everybody liked him. He was president of everything, president of the student body, president of the high school, you know, just a leader.”

We talked to Cook and her daughter Nancy Shelley to find out what secrets she had kept to live a long life. She did everything she was not supposed to do, Cook joked.

“Well, I’m not a very great worrier,” Cook said. “I can worry and then I can quit worrying. I’m through with that.”

“Like she said., she doesn’t worry about anything,” added Shelley. “Everything just flows over her shoulders, and she goes on. And if I have even half of that in my genes I think I’m lucky.”

Cook now likes to read and spend time at Harmony Assisted Living with her family and friends.
We asked her if she had any advice for the rest of us before we departed.

“No, I don’t, because I think you all are just great,” she said. “I don’t know that you need to change a thing. Just continue living.”


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