YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA/KECY) - In life, we have many milestones we want to achieve. Celebrating the 100th birthday is one that many of us just dream of.
One local woman reached that milestone last Saturday, let's take a look back at the long century that she has lived.
“I feel like I’m the most blessed person in Yuma right now,” says Ann Autrey, who is celebrating a whole century of life.
"My 100 birthday! I was born in Tishomingo, Oklahoma."
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Autrey remembers one of the biggest historical events that took place during her time there.
“World War 2," she reminisces. "My husband was at another university at the time when he went in to enlist and my brother also went."
Seeing the love both her husband and brother showed their country really marked her during this time.
After a few stops in Oklahoma and Texas, Autrey eventually found herself in Yuma.
Her love for the country, resonated in her love for teaching music to the children of Yuma.
Autrey is the embodiment of a young spirit with a teacher's heart.
She vividly remembers her days as a teacher, calling them 'the best days of her life' but more so recalls the one thing her students taught her.
"Patience," says Autrey as she chuckles. "No, most of the kids were just great a lot of beginners in this town, after they played their first little tone it was great everyone else taught it was bad but it was music to my ears, they worked hard."
The celebration of a century included a marching band, cake, and family.
"That was the greatest thing ever such a surprise," says Autrey of the celebration that the Desert Rose Senior Community put together for her.
"Oh man, I felt like I was floating on air and to hear those instruments those kids sounded great."
A hundred years is not only a blessing but its also more than enough time to reflect, to reflect on how the country she loves has evolved into something unimaginable.
"All my life I would have never imagined that my country would be in the mess that we are in right now we don’t love each other and we have to,” says Autrey.
But with one-hundred years under your belt, there is no secret to longevity.
In fact, her "secret" is something that everyone knows about already.
"The good Lord, the good Lord, says Autrey. "My eyes are failing but praise the Lord I can still hear and when I heard that band this morning I was ready to go, ready to march on that dining room.”