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Woman celebrates 100th birthday
Forget the beauty creams and healthy diets.

For Cordelia Johnson Croft, the secret to living a long happy life is simple: people.

Croft, who turns 100 years old today, credits her health to surrounding herself with friends and family.

At a birthday party held in her honor a day earlier, on Tuesday, many of them were present at Gracemore Nursing Home on Lee Street in Brunswick to wish her well.

"I just love everybody. I love my friends and my family, and I love everyone else, too," Croft said. "I think we should tell people we love them more often."

Her favorite song is "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." It's the song her late husband, Ralph Croft, used to sing to her.

"My dear husband (kept me so young), and I just didn't have him with me long enough," Croft said. "But my good friends and family have always kept me company."

She remembers her husband, the mayor of Brunswick in the late 1960s and early '70s, rowing a boat down the streets of downtown Brunswick during a flood.

Her family calls her by her old high school nickname, "Gay," because she has always been so bright and happy.

"Mama always said I was disappointed if I didn't get a hug from someone at church," she said.

In fact, one of her fondest memories involves a hug.

"When I moved here, my husband introduced me to his mother, and I just remember her walking toward me with arms outstretched," Croft said. "She just made me feel so welcome and loved. I had never met her before."

Having a big family, her best friends in the world, keeps her feeling young and happy, she said.

"You know I feel like I'm 25 years old," Croft said at her party.

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