Davenport woman celebrates 106th birthday on dance floor

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 11:31 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - In 1917, the United States entered World War I, the Russian Revolution began, and ace pitcher Babe Ruth became an everyday hitter for the Red Sox.

And Evelyn Schlunsen was born.

At the time, Americans’ life expectancy was 51 years ― Evelyn turned 106 on Friday.

Friends at Silvercrest Garner Senior Living in Davenport threw her a party to celebrate. Evelyn began the celebration with a dance to her favorite song, “Mack the Knife.” The dance ended too soon, the spry centenarian said.

Turning 100 is becoming more common, according to researchers at Boston University. About 1 in 10,000 Americans lived to 100 in the 1990s. Today, it’s one in 5,000.

But turning 106 is quite a milestone. Only 0.23% of women in the United States live to 106.

Gender also makes a big difference in longevity. Eighty-five percent of centenarians, folks 100 and up, are women and 15% are men.

Evelyn said her happiest memory was being 16 years old when she was the 10 millionth 1934 Chicago World’s Fair visitor. That happened in 1934.

She left us with this advice:

“Walk! And don’t complain about your job. Either do it, or leave it.”