Elkhart woman celebrates 106th birthday

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:19 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Imagine it’s your birthday -- your 106th birthday --and not only are you celebrating a milestone many haven’t achieved, it’s happening alongside the mayor.

“I am awfully happy to be here to support Nellie! I want to be here when she turns 107 as well,” Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson said.

It is also is happening alongside your friends.

“This actually is the first birthday, big gathering, with a mayor, that we’ve had since COVID began,” Kevin Carlin, owner of Meridian Senior Living & Eastlake Terrace, says.

And it is happening alongside your family during the second pandemic in your lifetime.

“Oh, it’s amazing. It’s just wonderful she can see everybody,” Patricia Holmes said, while celebrating her mom’s birthday Tuesday.

But for 106-year-old Elkhart resident Nellie Yoder she says, “It was a nice surprise.”

However, her secret to getting this far is not only about surrounding herself with the ones she loves.

“Where did your tears come from?”, a relative asked Yoder.

“Oh because of all the people that love me,” Yoder answered.

It is about living by her favorite motto.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone,” Yoder said with a big grin on her face.

“I was about 11 or 12 years old when I read that and I never forgot it. I liked it and I never forgot it,” Yoder says.

Yoder says her wish is to be able to celebrate with her family and her friends at Eastlake Terrace once again next year when she turns 107.

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