Matty Baker celebrates her 103rd birthday
As the Fourth of July approaches, one of Garfield County’s oldest residents, Matty Baker, will be turning 103 Monday. And, though her birthday won’t be paired with fireworks this year due to the fire danger, the celebration is still expected to light up residents at the Chateau at Rifle.
On Sunday, the senior home will be hosting a birthday bash for Baker a day early.
Over 200 people are expected to attend.
While the Chateau celebrates its residents’ birthdays year-round, Chateau Executive Director Sonya Vick said Baker’s birthday “is special to us” and the other residents as not everybody gets to reach 103.
“Seeing 100 deserves a big celebration,” Vick added.
“If you ask me how I got to 103 I can tell you I don’t know,” Baker admitted. “I didn’t plan it.”
Baker often remarks that she’s old enough to be the mother of most of the residents, according to Vick.
Before coming out to Rifle, Baker raised three children in New Jersey and spent time as a ballroom dancing instructor as well as an office manager for a hospital in New York. Her three children, two sons and one daughter, are 81, 79 and 74.
While her sons will be out of town, her daughter will be one of the guests in attendance on Sunday to watch her blow out her candles.
With her birthday falling on Fourth of July week every year, she’s had over a century of birthdays paired with the roar of fireworks a few days later.
“My mother always said I could have been a firecracker,” she said.
When she was younger, Baker used to have large birthday blowouts with her 16th birthday (which would have been in 1931) coming to mind as one that was truly memorable.
Baker remains active in her old age, according to Vick, exercising every morning and walking a quarter mile in the morning and evening, every day.
Vick said she never misses an activity.
Baker’s one complaint about, Vick said, is that is she stays seated in one place too long and she falls asleep.
She said she’s most proud of her three children, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
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