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Parkersburg resident marks monumental birthday

Cedar Grove resident Elva Evans celebrated her 104th birthday wearing a mask. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Elva Evans, a resident at Cedar Grove Assisted Living in Parkersburg, celebrated her 104th birthday on Sept. 1, 2020.

When asked what she believes the secret to a long, fulfilling life is, Evans believes it is simple: marrying the right man and eating lots of cookies — at least it has worked for her.

Evans was born Elva Davis and grew up on a farm in Elizabeth, W.Va. She was one of six siblings.

She has always been an animal lover and she had a pet pig growing up that she named Giggie. For years, family members have bought her stuffed pigs and ceramic pigs that she adores.

When Evans was younger, she worked at Viscose, the former Parkersburg plant that closed in 1974. She met her late husband Charles, known as Charlie, and they moved to Mansfield, Ohio, where they spent their early years of married life.

“To me they were the perfect couple and they thought the world of one another,” said her niece, Kim Constantino. “They never had children of their own, but they treated me like a princess.”

Evans and her husband, who were married over 60 years when he died in 2009, eventually moved back to the Mid-Ohio Valley and settled down in Belpre. Charlie worked for the Air National Guard for many years.

According to Constantino, Elva has a photo of her late husband in his military uniform that hangs over her bed and she likes to say he is watching over her. Cedar Grove Resident Services Coordinator Amy Cole emphasized that Elva was Charlie’s pride and joy.

Evans has been passionate about many things in her life. Her uncle taught her how to do crossword puzzles in her youth and she avidly finished them for years, even until very recently. Elva also loved to sew and used to make quilts.

“Even at 104 she is still one of the most positive people I have ever known,” Constantino said. “We have always laughed so much together and she would be everybody’s favorite aunt.”

According to Cole, Evans loves to sing and can often be found carrying a tune. Hymns like “Old Rugged Cross” or nursery rhymes like “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” are her favorites.

When asked about what she thinks has changed the most in her lifetime, Evans said people nowadays are too busy. Her word of advice is to take the time and enjoy the little things in life.

Jenna Pierson can be reached at jpierson@newsandsentinel.com

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