Lorraine Falace didn't know what all the fuss was about.
Lorraine Falace gets ready to blow out the candles on her cake during her 100th birthday celebration at Brookdale Assisted living facility on Thursday.
But not many people celebrate their 100th birthday, and on Thursday at the Brookdale assisted living facility, friends and more than a dozen family members came to celebrate the occasion.
Falace, who moved to Cape Coral in 1975, said she never really followed a plan for longevity except for not smoking and drinking very rarely.
"I have no idea why I've lived so long. I never followed any rules or looked at what was on the can. I never even knew what calories were," Falace said.
The real secret may be from both sides of the family, where longevity is in the genes, at least for the females, according to son Jeff Falace, 74.
"It's amazing. I could never conceive of anything like this happening in our family. Her dad lived to 91, and we thought that was fantastic," Jeff said. "Her mother's sister lived to 96 and my dad's sister lived to 97. To make 100 is unbelievable."
"She has all her faculties. Ask her a question and she'll answer it. Just don't get her going on politics, she's a little right of Attilla the Hun," said daughter Robin, 70.
Even more remarkable is the fact she has been able to live relatively hospital free. When she broke her knee and elbow in a fall two years ago, it was the first time she went to the hospital since giving birth to her daughter Robin in 1947.
Falace was born in 1916 in Schenectady, N.Y. and spent much of her adult life there, living in the second floor of her mother's house.
"Over the years, I remember it being fun. The sons and sons-in-law of my parents played Pinochle on Tuesday nights and penny poker on Fridays and everyone was over on the holidays. There were never less than 25 people in the house," Jeff said. "I grew up with a family together."
Lorraine married her husband, Anthony, in 1941 before he went into the service for three years. After raising her two children she went to work for the State of New York for 15 years, working with a relatively new thing called a computer.
"They had punchcards back then. When I came here and started to work for the city of Cape Coral in 1976, it was my computer knowledge that got me the job," said Falace, who retired from the city in 1989 to care for her husband.
Today, Lorraine is still sharp as a tack and is able to get around without a walker. She still uses a computer regularly and plays lots of word games to keep her mind sharp.
Both children, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren from throughout the Northeast, from New Jersey to New Hampshire, came to celebrate.
They all got to see how remarkably fit she is for her age as she blew out all the candles to her cake in one shot.
"Just goes to show she's still full of hot air," Jeff said to many laughs, including from his mom.
"She was a great mom. We had our hardships growing up after World War II. She stayed at home until she had to work," Robin said. "It's amazing how she's never been sick. She's seen a lot and done a lot. She's amazing. She might live another 100 years."