Living for a century or more is quite a feat. Two Hoover residents recently celebrated milestone birthdays – 100 and 103 years old, to be exact. Learn more about their lives and what they credit for their longevity.
She drinks Gatorade with her coffee, enjoys a mostly vegetable and fruit diet and hits the gym two to three times a week. Flo Sherrill, who turned 100 years old on July 1, started this routine at age 81, making it her mission since to ask anyone who admits they don’t exercise, “what are you waiting for?”
She was first introduced to an exercise program in 1996 when, following angioplasty, her physician ordered rehab at St. Vincent’s Birmingham. While Flo’s regular routine consists of 30 repetitions on 10 different machines followed by walking track laps, she quickly admits that prior to her cardiac rehabilitation, she’d never given a thought to exercise, let alone becoming a centenarian.
Since moving to Hoover in 1970, Flo said she witnessed the community’s amazing transformation.
“When we moved in there wasn’t a house on either side of ours, and a man building a home down the road set fire to the huge woods that was around us during construction,” she said. “About all there was back then were Mr. Hoover’s insurance business, a Western Grocery Store and two service stations and that’s about it.”
Flo said she continues to be astonished by the Hoover’s growth, calling it “the only place to live.”
“Everyone is so nice,” she said. “When I fell down our steep driveway some years ago, the post office people were so wonderful that they put a mailbox in my carport and bring my mail up the hill. I told my post lady that really made me feel special.”
Asked her feelings about reaching the century mark, Flo said the occasion was never high on her priority list.
“I really never thought about it. It never crossed my mind,” she said. “But the best part of my life was my family and, though I would choose to be a vegetarian, I’d live it all over again.”
When Rittenhouse Senior Living resident Louise Driver is asked what helped her live to be 103 years old, she provides an honest answer.
“I don’t know,” she said.
Driver was born in Killen, Alabama, just outside of Florence and Muscle Shoals, in 1912. She celebrated her 103rd birthday at Rittenhouse on July 3.
Driver’s nephew, Richard McMurtrey, credits Driver’s healthy lifestyle and her strong religious beliefs as what allowed her to live a long life.
“She reads her Bible every day,” McMurtrey said. “[She had] good living habits. She never smoked or drank.”
Throughout her life, Driver has always been involved in church, but did not do a lot of socializing outside of church, McMurtrey said. After her first husband died, Driver earned a living by turning a hobby into a way to make money. She took sewing orders from members of her community.
“She sewed wedding dresses, suits, anything anybody wanted or needed,” McMurtrey said.
Driver also enjoyed quilting and still uses one of the quilts she made to keep her warm at Rittenhouse.
“She is a very talented woman,” Rittenhouse representative Viki Mullins said.
After 103 years, Driver isn’t shy in talking about her accomplishments.
“I do everything,” she said. “I cook, I clean, I keep the house.”
Driver eventually met and married her second husband, Daniel Driver, who was a train conductor in Pennsylvania. They eventually settled in Vestavia Hills for retirement. Driver moved back to Muscle Shoals after Daniel passed away from cancer. She has been in assisted living at Rittenhouse in Hoover for about five months.
“She’s just a good, nice woman,” McMurtrey said. “She has been all her life to me, to everyone.”