It was no April fools joke.
Hazel Williams turned 103 years old on April 1 this year.
“She can’t believe how old she is,” Williams’ daughter Marilyn Blunk said. “She never felt as old as she was.”
A resident of Regency on Whidbey in Oak Harbor, Williams and her family kept the festivities to a minimum this year. After all, she has celebrated her birthday more than 100 times.
Williams was born in Oklahoma and was raised in Kansas. She married her husband in 1937, forming a close partnership that lasted for 66 years until his death. They lived in California together, raising their family. Williams eventually moved to Whidbey Island in 2008 to be closer to family.
After retirement, Williams and her husband traveled all over the world, eventually achieving an accomplishment not many people share: she has visited every U.S. state and every province in Canada.
Williams and her late husband have two children, five grandkids, eight great-grandkids and one great-great grandchild with another on the way.
Strawberry pies were her specialty, Blunk said. She baked them so well, and with such a delicious crust that the Marie Callender’s restaurant across the street wanted to know her secrets.
A great seamstress, a woman with a big sweet tooth and a kind person are all fitting descriptions of Williams, according to Blunk.
She’s the best mom in the world, Blunk said.
“(Hazel) is very sweet, a very sweet hearted lady,” said Christina Taylor, who works at Regency.
“She’s a ray of sunshine,” health care assistant JoJo Triplett said. Williams is known around the senior living home for dancing, singing and putting scarves and bows in her hair.
“Every time you see Hazel she has a smile on her face,” Triplett said.