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'I’m blessed with good legs': Sault woman an inspiration at 101

More than a century old, Reva Ovens has lived each one of those years in Sault Ste. Marie; she credits her active lifestyle and positive attitude for her longevity

At 101, Reva Ovens is one of the most active residents at Pathways Retirement Residence.

“I’m active. I’m blessed with good legs that I’ve used over the years for skiing, skating and golfing. I belonged to the Country Club. I’ve had a good time,” Ovens told SooToday.

“I can't think of a time Reva has ever been sick, and when I asked her she couldn't either. Reva eats well and is always on the move. She walks daily. In the summer months she spends most of her day walking outside and come winter she tries her best to stay as active as she can by walking the halls throughout the day,” said Stephanie Whitaker, Pathways activities coordinator.

“When I asked her what her secret to long life is, she shrugged and said she didn't know. When I asked her if she had any advice for others to live a long and healthy life she said: 'How can I tell someone how to live? I think everyone does it their own way.’”

The centenarian is keeping busy this Christmas season.

“We have seven Christmas trees here at Pathways that Reva attends to daily to make sure the decorations are in place. That’s one of the cute things she does,” said James Noble, Pathways Retirement Residence general manager.

“I was born February 4, 1922 and I lived at 92 London Street. I’ve never left the Sault to live anywhere else. I was born here and I’ve always lived here,” Ovens told SooToday.

“I worked at Marks and Spencers. I was a sales clerk. That was a good high quality store. I enjoyed it there.”

Her best memories?

“Travelling with the girls. We would go on the weekend down to the States and go downhill skiing. I golfed a lot too. That was fun.”

Ovens married and had three children. She now has one grandchild and one great-grandchild.

“I’m a positive person. I still do what I want to do when I can do it.”

Earlier this year, Ovens was one of several Pathways residents who enjoyed filling new backpacks with back-to-school supplies for local children in need.

With her 102nd birthday approaching, Ovens said she doesn’t desire a big party and just wants to spend time with her family and friends.

Pathways administrators say Ovens' active lifestyle and her way of not stressing over anything has led to her having a long life.

“She is very well liked by all residents. She is an absolute delight to have around and we all look up to her for her fabulous style. Even at 101 Reva takes such good care of herself. Her hair is always just right, her outfits are perfectly accessorized and she has the best accessory of all, her smile,” Whitaker said.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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