Evelyn Clark is one of Touchmark at Coffee Creek’s more active residents and recently became the newest Edmond centenarian. But even at 100, she has no immediate plans to slow down.
Clark marked her 100th birthday on Oct. 30, and said that as the Thanksgiving holidays approach, she has much to be thankful for.
“I am just thankful for everything,” Clark said. “I’ve had a wonderful life, and I’m thankful for lasting this long. I’m thankful that I’m as healthy as I am.”
Her good health allows her to continue to be involved in many Touchmark activities as well as her own pursuits.
She is committed to attending Touchmark’s weekly Posture and Balance classes, where exercises are designed to help participants maintain as much agility, balance and alertness as possible.
Clark also takes advantage of the many social and mentally stimulating activities available at Touchmark while taking care of her own banking, personal finances and laundry.
Clark has lived at Touchmark for three years, moving from California to Texas, where she lived close to family members. Her husband, Phil, died in 1992. Clark’s sister, Lou Greist — the only surviving sibling out of a family of 13 children — also lives in Edmond.
Greist said her sister’s mind remains sharp.
“She’s smart, organized, and she’s worked hard.”
She heeds her own advice that people “need to stay active.” She is dismayed that too often retirees neglect themselves physically and mentally.
“They think that because they’re retired, they’re supposed to just sit down and retire,” she said.
Clark said she rarely watches television. Instead of sitting and watching TV, Clark attends concerts, participates in a broad range of classes, goes on shopping trips, plays games and corresponds by mail with her nieces, nephews and friends.
She especially enjoys the mentally challenging games — particularly one called Brain Builders, in which players are given an assortment of letters and must form as many three-, five- and seven-letter words as they can assemble.
Clark was born Oct. 30, 1910, in Texas. She attended Texas Tech University but left school a year before graduating to get married.
After her husband’s service in the Army during World War II, the couple bought a tire recapping company in Quincy, Calif. The Clarks lived in California for 65 years. After retiring, they fished and traveled the U.S. for more than 10 years.
“I never expected to live to 100,” Clark said. “You just take it day by day and keep going. And the last few years have just gone by so fast!”
Touchmark, located in Edmond at 2801 Shortgrass Road, is part of the Coffee Creek 638-acre planned residential development, which includes a golf course, recreational centers and walking and biking trails for Coffee Creek homeowners. Touchmark at Coffee Creek offers a wide range of homes and lifestyle options. For more information, visit TouchmarkEdmond.com.
living to 100: How do they do it?
How we age is determined more by one’s daily choices than from the genes inherited from our parents. Touchmark Vice President of Wellness and Programs Marge Coalman, Ed.D., shared the latest research and the important choices that make the greatest difference in achieving a healthy — and long — life.
According to Coalman, the top 10 ways to age successfully include:
1. Do not smoke. If you do, stop.
2. Maintain regular physical exams and follow your physician’s advice.
3. Learn new information. Engage in the complex and novel.
4. Participate in regular physical activity that includes daily walking.
5. Socialize and have fun.
6. Be financially stable. Get help from a qualified professional, if needed.
7. Honor your spirituality and engage in daily practices that nurture your spirit.
8. Eat less, but include the daily nine.
9. Maintain strong family and friendship networks.
10. Do not “retire” from an active, engaged life — even in retirement.
“There are no guarantees in this life, but following these principles is a great insurance policy,” Coalman said.