Doris Mills was born on June 26, 1918 and celebrated her 101st birthday at General Mills Hospital with lots of cake, balloons and laughs. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Skeena Voices | A century of smiles

Doris Mills celebrated her 101st birthday and says she still feels young

If there’s ever a good excuse to eat cake, it’s always a birthday.

And on the second floor of the Mills Memorial Hospital, there was a lot of it as Doris Mills turned 101 years old on June 26.

Cards, gifts and treats take over the table as hospital staff and friends come to celebrate the significant milestone with Doris sitting in her wheelchair with a grin.

“I feel younger… I just don’t worry about it,” says Doris. “If I feel good, that’s the main thing.”

READ MORE: Skeena Voices | Who is the hot dog guy?

For Doris, being over a century doesn’t phase her and she’s more than generous with her party guests to share her gifted chocolates. She reads cards aloud with her son, Gary Mills, beside her.

“I was quite impressed [with the party], I thought there’d be a couple of people here,” says Gary. “When you’re 101, you don’t have many friends left [so this is great].”

Although her memory is beginning to fade and it’s becoming difficult to retain new information, Gary says his mother is always in a good mood and having fun which has kept them both going. He laughs that sometimes she speaks her mind a little too loudly, but at her age — that’s the least of her worries.

READ MORE: Skeena Voices | Decoding a warring world

In the past year, she’s broken her hip four times and each time, he thought she wouldn’t recover. Gary says that Doris often forgets her body is too weak to walk and is just too determined to get around, regardless of the multiple injuries.

“With a lot of people who break their hips, they’re usually gone in a couple of months,” he says. “It’s hard to get her to walk with a cane or a walker because she chooses to be firm, she denies her handicaps.”

Up until her recent falls, she was living at home with her son. Gary says it’s her genetics that has kept her strong when aging, as Doris’ mother also had a 101st birthday celebration and lived to 102 years old.

READ MORE: Skeena Voices | Discovering a snapshot of time

Born in 1918, Doris has been a witness to the changing of time and has lived through important milestones in history. But when asked about significant memories of her life, she just smiles.

“She went through the Second World War and that would probably be the big thing for her when she was a child,” Gary says. “But those people in those days, they didn’t talk about it.”

The family had lived in Montreal for most of Gary’s childhood, but left for Toronto when Anglo-Franco tensions were high and eventually moved to Victoria.

Throughout those moves though, they always had family around to come together for occasions. Gary worries that would make Doris the saddest if she realized how far apart everyone is now, as it’s just the two of them in Terrace.

“We would always have Easter, Christmas, big family get-togethers which were great. I remember them as a kid being wonderful times,” Gary says. “I think that would be her biggest regret, that our family is spread out all over North America, so it’s hard to have those families get-togethers again.”

Despite the distance, Doris is still in a lot of people’s thoughts and the stack of cards show it.

“Everyone’s just happy to have her around, she’s happy, she’s laughing and joking,” Gary says.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


(Contributed Photo)

(Contributed Photo)

Just Posted

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Northern Escape Heli Skiing makes way for its first resort lodge in Terrace area

Expected to increase tourism, provide more employment

Pacific Northern Gas moves to reinstate full capacity and expand pipeline

Increased supply and demand could mean lower rates for North Coast customers, PNG says

Terrace Industrial Park build-out continues

Containerized LNG, forestry among potential manufactured goods

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read