'The World Has Changed So Much,' Says Centenarian


"I don't even think about death; I'm too busy living. When I turn 100, now that will be a big celebration," Pat Griffin told Roundup reporter Jim Keyworth in a millennium interview in 1999.

The centenarian turned 100 on Dec. 1, 2005, and celebrated with family and friends. Two more celebrations are planned for Dec. 3 and Dec. 15.


Pat Griffin

"The world has changed so much," Griffin said. "I remember when my sister-in-law got her first radio and I thought, oh, isn't this wonderful to hear these programs on it and then television came on. Very few people in our neighborhood had cars, but my father had one. We traveled all around and I thought it was wonderful."

Griffin still has the "car robe" that people would put over their laps to keep out the cold, a blanket so heavy you could hardly put it on.

Griffin remembers her very first car was a Ford that her brother didn't want, so she bought it from him.

Griffin said the most amazing things she has experienced in her life are her family and her work.

"My family means a lot to me. I loved my work and I loved children and I would have gone on working past retirement," said the retired Arizona teacher and principal.

"My (students') parents even petitioned the school board that I go on, but when I retired you had to retire at 65."

Although blinded by macular degeneration, she enjoys her walks and is in good health.

"What keeps me going? I don't know," she said. "Everybody gets sick around me, but I don't get sick."

"She took vitamins her whole life and people made fun of her," family friend Barbara Graepler said.

Griffin retired with a whole year of sick leave.

"I wouldn't stay home when I could work," she said.

So, she became a world traveler with friends and her sisters and their husbands.

The Dutch Antilles, Portugal and South America were among her many destinations. She also visited the Scandinavian countries where "her people" came from, and saw her great-grandfather's farm in Oslo, Norway.

"I enjoyed them all," she said.

Griffin is excited about her parties. More than three dozen friends and family will be at the main celebration Saturday.

Griffin said she's been telling everyone, "You can take a picture of me again when I'm 110."

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