For Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — Marie Powell says a positive outlook and keeping on the move helped her live 100 years so far.
“If you start thinking you are old, then you are. I will start thinking it sometime … maybe,” Powell said with a laugh.
She celebrated birthday number 100 on Sept. 14 with members of her large family at SpringMeade in Tipp City, where she has lived since 2007.
She’s a common sight around the campus grounds, walking at least a mile most days. The exception would be icy winter days.
“I just like doing it,” Powell said of her walks. “I have always been active from the day I was born.”
She was born in central Pennsylvania, grew up on a farm and walked to school. For high school, that meant four miles, each way, Powell said. There was no electricity and she didn’t know how to use a telephone until after she left home after graduating high school.
She met her first husband, Ben, at a roadhouse where young people would gather. He worked construction, a job that brought them to Troy in 1955 with work on building Interstate 75. They had five children. He died in December 1960 when Marie was in her early 40s.
She married Bob Powell of Troy in 1962 and they moved to Tipp City that year. He was a mechanical engineer at A.O. Smith and they had one daughter. Powell has six children, with one, son Steve, deceased; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren. Her surviving children are Paul, Judy, Darlene, Linda and Lisa.
Bob Powell died in 2012 shortly before their 50th anniversary.
Powell said she enjoys her SpringMeade home and those who live there.
“I am a fixture around here,” she said.
With a husband who worked in construction and was gone from home frequently in her younger years, Powell said she became self-sufficient. She still keeps a tool box under the sink.
“If something needs fixed, I fix it,” she said, adding she also enjoys keeping her own house.
Her advice to others on pursuing a long life?
“Move around. Don’t just sit there all the time,” Powell said.