Louella Patterson will be 100 years old on Sunday and is proud of it. "I'm going to be 100," she tells residents and visitors at Pin Oaks Living Center, where she resides.
Patterson was born July 30, 1917 in Victor, Mo., which is now under water in Mark Twain Lake. She lived most of her life on a farm, but moved to Mexico around 1985.
Patterson doesn’t have any advice on how to live to be 100, because she never dreamed of living that long. "I never thought I would live to be 100," she said. "I've had a good life," Patterson added.
Her life before entering the nursing home, was being a wife and mother. She was married to Sam Helm for 31 years and Ellsworth Patterson for five years. She also had two children, who are deceased.
Later in life she was a foster grandmother for troubled boys at the Northeast Community Treatment Center in Mexico. "That (foster grandmother) kept me busy," she said. She would work 20 hours a week volunteering her services to the center. She was part of the Audrain County's Foster Grandparent Program, which provided youth-based services. In a 1991 Ledger article, Patterson was 74 when volunteering at the center and had been volunteering for approxima four years there at the time the article was written.
In her younger days, Patterson played baseball. Yes baseball. When asked if she played baseball or softball she replied, "baseball, the ball was regular size." Staff at Pin Oaks confirmed she did indeed play baseball. She is also a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.
One of her favorite things to do was to dance and her favorite dance was the waltz. "My first husband and I won a prize for the waltz," said Patterson. She added it wasn't first place, but it was a prize.
Patterson now spends her time keeping up with the Cardinals, playing bingo and visiting with residents, staff and visitors at Pin Oaks.
It is a much slower life now for Patterson, but after all in her own words she is going to be 100.