A Birmingham woman is celebrating a milestone birthday. Elmira McHolmes Shepherd turns 104 years old this week and she shared some of her wisdom with FOX6 News reporter Melanie Posey.
Shepherd was born in 1909 in Eufala, the same year William Howard Taft was sworn in as president and the Wright brothers formed their first airplane company.
Shepherd and her four sisters were raised on a farm to do hard work.
"And on the farm, we didn't have hours, we worked from sun up to sun down. And you still remember that. I won't forget that," she said.
When time allowed, the McHolmes girls attended a one room school house. Shepherd would later go on to finish the 8th grade in Birmingham. When she was 15 she moved to Atlanta to help care for her aunt. That's where she discovered love.
A few months later, she married that nice looking young man. Monroe and Elmira would go on to have four children, live through the Depression, World War II, the Korean war, and they watched the Civil Rights Movement play out in their own back yard.
"Was living right here and had two nieces in that, in the dogs and water was poured on them," Shepherd said.
She fulfilled her dream of becoming a nurse and saw the birth of five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
And as the years kept passing by, she didn't let it slow her down. Up until age 103, she was still going to the gym to exercise, still teaching Sunday school and even still trimming her own hedges.
"I don't mind getting older if I'm able to take care of myself and still do a little something. And not just sitting looking and the other fella working," she said.
And on this, her 104th birthday, she shares her secret to a long life: love, respect and help others.
"I pass along to be obedient to God and your parents and don't waste your life in the streets. Make your life count to help make the world better," Shepherd said.
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