Woman Celebrates 107th Birthday With a Parade

More than a century ago, Myda Lewis and her family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, in a covered wagon, back when a sta...

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 3:24 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 3:24 AM

More than a century ago, Myda Lewis and her family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, in a covered wagon, back when a stamp cost two cents, before indoor plumbing or electricity, and before television existed.

But they did have newspapers back then, and Myda just made the front page of her hometown paper after thousands lined downtown streets to celebrate her 107th birthday with a parade, which is exactly what Myda said she wanted when the nursing home administrator asked.

"I'd always watched other people ride in the parade and it looked like fun, especially at homecoming. It wasn't homecoming, but it was for me," Myda said with a smile.

She even wore a tiara, which Myda said made her feel like a princess.

"It was just out of this world," she said.

Myda said exercise is the key to longevity, and even at her age she was still taking tai chi classes at Westhaven Nursing Home.

"I use tai chi, yoga, walking. I didn't run, I didn't like to run."

She said a good sense of humor is also very important in life.

"At times, I try to be as obnoxious as possible. I'm really good at that," Myda said.

Thousands of people lined Main Street to make her birthday wish come true, and it's all thanks to Don Lewis (no relation to Myda), Westhaven's administrator.

When he asked Myda what she wanted for her birthday, he and a team of nurses went to businesses along Main Street and asked them to come outside at a certain time for the big surprise.

Word spread quickly all over town, making Myda's dream an incredible success.

For Don's kindness, his friend, Billy Bogges, wanted to reward Don with a $400 Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank.

"Don is wonderful, he truly loves his job, loves all of the residents, goes way above and beyond," Billy said. "He likes to see people smile."

Billy and our News 4 crew surprised Don at the nursing home to the cheers and applause of Don's staff.

"Wow, not expected!" Don said.

When asked how Don felt knowing he'd made Myda's dream come true, he replied, "Wonderful, a blessing, it's the highlight of my career at this point because it's what we do. I'm just blessed to be able to do that for her."

And Myda sat in her wheelchair watching, with yet another beautiful smile.

From a covered wagon to a gold Mercerdes - Myda had seen incredible change over the past century.

And something that made her wish all the more special, this was Myda's final birthday.

She passed away Monday night, July 16, two weeks after our interview.

Myda said the best part about her birthday was that it brought smiles to so many faces.

"My wish had caused a lot of people to come together and have a good time themselves," Myda said. "It just means that people can work together if they try, because the work that it took to put that together, I'm sure it was quite something."

Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.

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