Lake Charles woman turns 101, gets visit from mayor

It was a full house at the Villa Maria Retirement Center. It was full of residents, staff and friends all to celebrate a very special birthday.

Evelyn Kendall celebrated her 101st birthday. She's been a resident of Villa Maria for 17 years, making her not only the oldest in membership but the oldest in age.

Director of Marketing and Activities at Villa Maria, Pam Laborde, said she can't believe Kendall is 101.

"What are the chances of that?" said Laborde. "How rare is that?"

Kendall celebrated with her friends, staff and niece and said she's never felt better.

"I'm thrilled to death," said Kendall.

Staff presented guests with ice cream and cake. Friends stopped by and shared gifts, cards, and balloons and even had a local student stop by and play the violin.

According to Laborde, Kendall had only one request for her birthday: a bingo party.

While Kendall got busy with bingo, Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach stopped by to present Kendall with a special birthday card from the City of Lake Charles.

He also presented Kendall with a Lake Charles mug and other gifts. He said birthdays are very special and if he had the choice to live to 101, he would live it the way Kendall has.

Roach said he believes birthdays are a good time to reflect and said Kendall is a perfect example.

"She's been a little bit farther down the road than we have," said Roach. "There's a lot that we can learn and a lot we can gain from that."

Roach said he wishes Kendall many more birthdays and wants her to be able to enjoy the life she has.

Kendall said although she doesn't plan on living to see another 100 years, her plans for the future are simple.

"I want to enjoy each day," said Kendall. "One at a time and get everything out of it I can."

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