On Saturday, July 12, Celia Benson of Wiota celebrated a century of life, but said she doesn’t feel like she’s 100 years old.
“I can’t believe it really,” said Benson. “I’m the only one in my family that’s gotten this far, but they say people are living longer now, so maybe 100 won’t be so old pretty soon.”
Benson was born in Fayette Township in Lafayette County and said she’s been a Lafayette County resident for most of her life.
Her parents were Westley and Mable (Anderson) Reed. She had one sister, Cora, and three brothers: Lester, Marvin and Robert, all of whom are now deceased.
Benson was the oldest of the five Reed children and when their mother passed away when Benson was 18-years-old, she stepped in to help her father out at home.
“When my mother passed away when I was 18, I helped to keep the family together,” she explained. “And I was glad to do that.”
On Dec. 31, 1948 Benson married Cecil Benson. He worked as a mechanic in the Wiota area, while Benson worked in several places including at St. Clare Hospital in the laundry department and did housekeeping and other jobs for different households in the area when there was sickness or other difficulties.
The couple had one son: Greg. Cecil passed away several years ago, but Benson and her son both continue to live in the Wiota area.
“There’s been good and bad,” said Benson of her 100 years. “But I don’t think I’d do anything differently. I think I’ve had it pretty good.”
Benson said she feels lucky to have gotten this old. “I’m just glad I could see my son grow up and I’m happy that I can get around and that my mind is sound,” she said.
And as for what has contributed to her longevity Benson said, “Well I never smoked or drank, so maybe that’s why I’ve lived so long.”