“She’s got some history alright," her son-in-law said. "She made it to Washington state before I-90 did!”
Bea Engstler, the last surviving one of her nine siblings, was born in Iowa in 1916 and immigrated to Washington state. She traveled across the nation with a companion during the First World War. Her 106th birthday was recently honored by friends and family, who gave her the gift she really wanted. Bea, officially Bertha, marked her special day by making a few straightforward demands—“KFC and the casino!”
“She’s got some history alright,” Engstler's son-in-law Steve Green told 9 News. “She made it to Washington state before I-90 did!”
Aly Magdett of Northgate Plaza Senior Living, where Bea lives, said that Bea had expressed that she really wanted KFC fried chicken for her party. A staff member from the senior living facility even dressed up as Colonel Sanders to bring the fried chicken to the birthday girl. Although he was prodded by the guests for the recipe, he played along and just grinned as the guests ate their chicken and mashed potatoes.
The KFC-themed birthday party as well as the afternoon "after party" at a nearby casino, were attended by Bea's friends and family.
Bea's daughter, Cyndi Green, while talking about her mother, said that three of her most prominent traits are that she is German, “quite stubborn,” and loves fly fishing. Bea used to ski frequently until she was in her 70s, but now she prefers to gamble at the nearby casinos. Although she claims to just play the slots, her friends argue that bingo also counts! And Bea never skips a bingo game.
“She loves the casino, so this birthday party is going to hit the road,” Cyndi told KING, a local TV station, while at a pre-casino party for her mom at a senior facility. Bea claims that her daughter and son-in-law are the keys to her staying young even at 106. “They keep me young!”
Last month, a 105-year-old woman from North Carolina also celebrated her birthday for the first time, per USA Today. The lovely birthday girl, Lorene Summey, was entertained by routines by line dancers and square dancers. According to her caregivers at Somerset Court in Cherryville, Summey had requested 105 birthday cards, one for each year of her life, but she actually received 1200 cards, with more arriving every day. Summey was decked out in a pink western dress with a vivid, floral pattern and a diamond tiara on her head. She was escorted into the celebration by police officers and firefighters from the town of Cherryville. "I can't believe it," said Summey. "It's so unreal."
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images