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Turning 98 doesn't stop woman from going to exercise class

Published: Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 10:44 a.m. CDT
Members of the exercise class at the Mt. Morris Senior Center celebrate the 98th birthday of Mildred Smith Sept. 7. Pictured left to right in the fourth row are: Donna Boomgarden and Marilyn Koper. Third row: Dorothy Stahl, Marion Kalnins, and Gretch Diab. Second row: Caroline Cheever, Kathy Heid, Jean Eads, and Marilyn Melvin. First row: Barb Wells, Mildred Smith, and Judy Miller. Photo by Vinde Wells

A Mt. Morris woman doesn't let a little thing like turning 98 cramp her style.

Mildred "Millie" Smith did what she always does Sept. 7 and went to her exercise class at the Mt. Morris Senior Center.

To her surprise, a birthday cake for her had been added to the morning routine of exercise and coffee.

Exercise instructor Kathy Heid said Smith is an active participant in the class which meets three mornings a week for an hour of stretching, topped off with lifting weights.

"Millie is amazing. She's more limber than most of us," Heid said.

Smith demonstrated by doing a toe-touch, but instead touching her palms flat on the floor.

Smith, who turned 98 on Sept. 8, said until last year she walked the mile from her home to the class.

But now, with her eyesight failing, her daughter Barb Wells brings her.

"I can't see well enough to cross the street anymore," Smith said, with a grin.

A life-long Mt. Morris resident, Smith worked at Kable Printing for more than 20 years and at Pinecrest Community.

She said she has some, if not most of the same health issues that plague most senior citizens.

"I've got of little of everything," she said. "But I don't let it bother me."

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