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Rowena Gates Day marks 100th birthday!

TUSCOLA -- There was a special birthday celebration in town Wednesday.
TUSCOLA -- There was a special birthday celebration in town Wednesday. Rowena Gates turned 100. That's why the mayor officially named it Rowena Gates Day. WCIA-3's Jillian Deam was there for the party.

As Rowena Gates celebrates a new life for this butterfly, people are celebrating her long life. Rowena is now 100 years old.

"I'm surprised. I didn't think I'd reach 100."

78 of those years were spent right here in Tuscola which is why the mayor made this her official day.

"The mayor gave me a proclamation all framed."

A day to honor this remarkable woman who is still very active.

"I do simple exercises and play bridge at Bridge Club."

And, she still drives.

"This is your car right here?"

"That's my old car, 28 years old."

Although she says she's giving that up after this birthday.

"My car's old and I'm old and I don't want to be told to quit. I'm going to decide to quit."

"I have to ask. What is the secret to making it to 100 years old?"

"If I knew, I'd get a patent and sell it."

"My mother is one of the most literate people I know. One of the key points is keeping your brain active and she absolutely does that."

"I don't know what's in her DNA that makes her this way, but I hope I have it."

Surrounded by friends and family, Rowena is releasing a new monarch butterfly nursery at the Jarman Center.

"It was born on Rowena's 100th birthday, so it just seemed perfect for her to release it."

A day dedicated to Rowena celebrating both new life and a life well-lived. Rowena says she also keeps her mind sharp by doing scrabble and reading a lot. Her family traveled from all over the country to celebrate with her.
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