Jacksonville woman turning 102 shares secrets to long life

Family celebrates with Bertha Adams at Louis Dinah Senior Center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Faith, coffee, castor oil -- and dancing.

Those are the keys to a long life, according to Bertha Adams – who will turn 102 on Saturday.

As her family planned her birthday party Friday and celebrated with her friends at the Louis Dinah Senior Center in Northwest Jacksonville, they're shared some emotional words with News4Jax, gushing about just how amazing Adams' life has been.

They said the only time she's been in the hospital was in 1945 when she gave birth to her daughter, who is now 72 years old.

Bertha Stevens, Adams' namesake, was by her mother's side Friday afternoon as she watched Adams don a pink tiara to match the pink icing on her cake.

Adams strolled into the center without a walker or cane, not looking a day over 80.

Stevens, who said her mother doesn't miss her daily cup of coffee, said she's never seen her mother sick.

“She might get a cold,” Stevens said. “She never had a headache, never complained of backaches.”

When a cold has Adams feeling a little under the weather, it's nothing a little castor oil can't take care of, her daughter said.

Stevens said what's kept her mother strong all these years is her mother's faith in God.

“Get everything together Saturday evening -- she goes to church, rain, cold, she's there every Sunday,” Stevens said.

A workout for the birthday girl includes pulling weeds in the yard, hanging laundry on a clothes line and even dancing and exercising at Edward Waters College -- all achievements that has the great-great-grandmother flooring her own family.

“One word: Amazing. I wish I can live to reach (102),” great grandson Gregory James said. “I got good genes.”

Family members said Adams takes care of herself at home, gets up and dressed at 5 a.m. every day and that her favorite thing to do -- is dance.

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