Rhoda McQuitty



Born on Christmas Eve, 100 years ago --
December 24, 1900

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Rhoda McQuitty was born on December 24, 1900 and as she prepared to mark her 100th birthday she said, "I've never had it so good, I've had a good life." Daily Journal photo by D. Hickman

DESLOGE -- Rhoda McQuitty smiled sheepishly when asked what gift she would ask for on her 100th birthday.

"If you could have anything you want, what would it be?" came the question.

With a little nudging from employees at NHC Healthcare of Desloge where she lives, Mrs. McQuitty admitted a boyfriend would be nice.

"A young man, maybe about 99," she giggled.

Mrs. McQuitty marked her Christmas Eve birthday a little early with cake on Friday and planned to celebrate again Sunday with her family. She was born on Dec. 24, 1900.

She was first featured in the Daily Journal's Tales of the Century series last year as she marked her 99th birthday and told some of the stories of her life.

"I don't suppose there was anything too special about my birth except for the fact it was on Christmas Eve," she said then. "I think it's a fine time to have a birthday. I always had plenty of gifts.

She was 4 years old when the World's Fair opened in St. Louis in 1904 and admits she attended, but time has taken away any memories she might have of the experience.

Divorced and then widowed at a young age, Mrs. McQuitty is remembered by her son Roy Volker as a hard-working mother.

"Money was tight, and we watched every penny," he said.

She spent most of her working life as what she calls a "tavern waitress" in St. Louis.

"The best thing about it was the tips. I got pretty good sized tips. I think it was because I was a pleasant person. I always had a smile for people and I think that means a whole lot."

She was an avid fisherman and also loved to play bingo before her eyesight began to fail.

She's lived at NHC Healthcare for the last 11 years and the staff was delighted to help her celebrate her birthday.

"She's a real sweet lady," said Mary Lewis, activities director, as she helped Mrs. McQuitty display a birthday cake." And she loves pink."

"What do you think about turning 100 years old?" asked Lewis.

"Well, it's all right," said Mrs. McQuitty. "I've never had it so good. I've had a good life."

(Daily Journal, Park Hills, Missouri, December 23, 2000, written by D. Hickman)