Speed Reads

milestones

Virginia woman celebrates her 111th birthday on 11/11

How's this for symmetry: On 11/11, Rosa Beckner turned 111.

Beckner lives in Franklin County, Virginia, and she can still remember hearing the news as a teenager that World War I was over, and the first time her father brought a telephone into the house. Now, she told The Roanoke Times, "you carry them in your pocket."

She has outlived all of her siblings (although her oldest sister made it to 108) and even her son, and while she has some vision and hearing problems, she only just started taking medication regularly. Every day, Beckner exercises, lifting two cans of baked beans 10 times toward her and 10 times away from her. That's not why she thinks she's lived as long as she has — Beckner gives credit to God for that — but it's not something her family wants her to stop doing. "I thought I'd used them enough," she said. "But [my daughter-in-law] said, 'No, you just keep doing them.'"