National Centenarian Awareness Project
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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

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Ms. magazine: 20th Century Foxes
Interviews by Lynn Peters Adler, Founder and Director, National Centenarian Awareness Project
A Century of

Women

 

 Myrtle Davenport, 100

Myrtle Davenport, 100
Born: February 9, 1899, Pangburn Hollow, Pa.
Resides: Linden, N.J.
Descendants: 12 children, 38 grandchildren,
32 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild
Occupation: Homemaker


Myrtle Davenport spends most of the year moving between her daughters' homes. If she had her druthers she'd live independently in her own home and she'd still be driving her car. Her lifelong interests have been the well-being of her children, her church, and cooking. After her children were grown, Davenport became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. These days she shares her wisdom with students at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where she lectures once a semester on perspectives on life and death.

What was the most important thing that happened for women during this century? Women's lib. Women are not suppressed anymore the way they used to be. They can make their own lives and decisions and not be dependent on their husbands.

How did it affect your life? My girls all left to make their own lives in other states. This gave me a whole new outlook on life. For example, it made me decide to get my driver's license at 75.

What advice would you give to girls today? Respect your parents. Listen to them and heed what they say. Your parents have walked this road before, and they know where the stumbling blocks are.

 

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