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Woman celebrates 113th birthday, friends say she’s ‘full of life’

Living Center asking the public to send the soon-to-be 113-year-old birthday cards
Posted at 8:34 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 20:34:38-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Ellen Goodwill knows the secret to living a long and good life, said her caretaker Stacy Lewis.

It’s something she’s said to Lewis a number of times.

“She’ll tell you the secret is no alcohol, no men,” Lewis said during an interview with FOX 17. “That’s what she’ll tell you. Stay away from alcohol and men.”

It’s something Goodwill has been doing since her husband passed away years ago, Lewis said. And, it’s kept her alive long enough to see her 113th birthday.

Friday was the celebration.

“I’m happy to be here,” said Battle Creek City Commissioner Lynn Ward Gray. “This is a milestone. And, we’re very very proud of Miss Goodwill and this achievement.”

Gray was among the dozens of friends, community members and residents at the Advantage Living Center, where Goodwill lives, who gathered to celebrate her birthday.

Gray also gave her a card and told her that she was an inspiration to a lot of people in Battle Creek. Goodwill is one of the oldest residents in the state.

“People called to send cards and stuff from the kids, especially in schools,” Lewis said. “She loves it. They hang in her room.”

Lewis said it’s in Goodwill’s room where you can see her life in pictures. Lewis has been her caretaker for the last eight years and has learned so much about her.

“She use to be a model,” Lewis said. “I try every year to watch the Miss America Pageant with her. She loves it. She’ll tell you it’s all about the walk.”

Goodwill doesn’t speak much about her past but loves to talk to about her husband and dad, Lewis said. She never had any kids herself but she enjoys when kids come around.

She also loves Pepsi, Lewis said.

“We go to the fair once a year and she’s crown queen of the fair and I always take her,” Lewis said. “We went one day and I bought her a can of Pepsi and it had Michael Jackson on it. I was flabbergasted because she actually knew.”

Pepsi was served at Goodwill’s party which was actually an English tea and garden party. All the tables had tea cups, chocolates, desserts, and dozens of pink balloons. Many of the guests wore sun hats or church hats and made sure to give her card, a hug and a well wish.

“She’s amazing,” Lewis said. “Everybody loves her. She’s so funny and just, at her age she’s full of life.”

***If you'd like to send a birthday card please mail it to: Ellen Goodwill, Advantage Living Center, 675 Wagner Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49017***