DOWNEY - Ferne McCallister, of Downey is celebrating her 104th birthday today and is thankful to be in good health and able to live 'independently'.Originally from Kansas, McCallister came to California in the 1940s with her husband and has spent nearly 60 years in Southern California . "It's not easy living by myself but I am well taken care of by friends, family and CareMore," said McCallister, a long time CareMore Health Plan member. "I am the oldest resident in my condominium complex and the oldest member at my church, and am lucky to have my community helping me out when I need them." The former school teacher and state human resources employee has many friends from her neighborhood and a niece that help her with various tasks like getting her mail, cleaning and grocery shopping. She currently walks with the aide of a walker, but there was a time when McCallister enjoyed traveling to various destinations across the United States, and even worldwide. She loves the beauty of nature, especially the Redwoods in Northern California and the mountains in Canada. She is passionate about politics and was the president of her local Republican and senior citizen club for several decades. "I love reading the newspaper...to keep up with current events," she added. "It's hard for me to get around so I like to read newspapers, magazines and occasionally I enjoy romance and mystery novels." "When I was 101, I knew I had to stop driving-- no one told me to stop, I just knew that it was getting more difficult for me and I had to give up something so important to me," she said, "It is such an inconvenience to not be able to drive anywhere, and am glad (CareMore) offer the service." McCallister lived in South Gate and currently resides in Downey, where she lives 'independently'. Her husband Earl passed away in 1965. "I lived to be 100 because I didn't have any kids," she jokes. "I love my family and I know what's important in my life."
********** Published: June 5, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 7