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Langley woman celebrates 110 years

Anna Nielsen celebrated her 110th birthday on Thursday with her daughter Luna Hepperle at Langley Gardens Retirement Centre where she lives.  - Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times
Anna Nielsen celebrated her 110th birthday on Thursday with her daughter Luna Hepperle at Langley Gardens Retirement Centre where she lives.
— image credit: Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times

Anna Nielsen lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, women getting the right to vote, the invention of planes and cars, and the Internet too.

And on Thursday, Nielsen celebrated being one of the oldest people in Canada, at 110 years old. The oldest person in B.C. is believed to be 113.

Nielsen’s  birthday party was held at Langley Gardens Retirement Centre, where she lives. She was treated to a musician singing, cake and friends and family visiting.

She doesn’t speak very often these days, but staff and her daughter say she is still giving out lots of hugs and kisses.

“She loves babies. She’s very loving. She’s constantly kissing me,” smiled her daughter Luna Hepperle.

Born in 1904 in Denmark, Nielsen married and had one child there before moving to New Brunswick in 1920. She came out to B.C. in 1944.

She has five daughters and one son, who has since died.

She has so many great-great, great and grandchildren, she can’t keep track. Her husband passed away in 1989, after the pair had been married for more than 60 years.

While she spent many years as a stay at home mother, she also worked cleaning many Vancouver buildings, like the Orpheum.

Hepperle said she isn’t sure what her mom’s secret to a long life is.

“She ate porridge every morning, she wasn’t a drinker.

“She was always busy. She is the only woman I know who washed the walls twice a month.”

She is also known to have a kind heart.

“She is a wonderful mom who always had great advice for us,” she said.

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