Woman celebrates 100 years of life and shares secret

STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Born on July 22, 1918, Ella Rock is still as sharp as can be.

"She's always been in my opinion very strong-willed and she likes things her way and sometimes we have to say this how we're doing it today," said Sonya Vaughan, Ella's granddaughter.

A mother of two, with eight grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and five great greats, Ella has done a lot and seen even more.

"She's been by bus, by car, by, plane, anyway you can travel," said
Sharon Vaughn, Ella's daughter

A host of friends celebrated with her and reminisced on the good times they've shared.

"Well we go out and eat alot. She's about the only one I can really talk things over with. We talk about old times a lot," said Casey Bunner, a good friend of Ella.

"Lots of Christmas', Thanksgivings, and good memories. When I think about grandma, that's what comes back to me is the memories like that. The moral background we have the good strong morals, the Christian background we have, she definitely helped with all of that," said Chad Leteller, Ella's grandson.

We asked Ella what her secret is to living a life of longevity.

"I have two cats and I have to get up and I have to take care of them, every day, every morning and at four o'clock, I have a martini," she responded.

In lieu of gifts, Ella asked for people to donate to the animal shelter, a testament to her care for others.

"At 100, she said if she can't eat it, drink it, or wear it, she doesn't need it, so she wanted to do something for the animals, that's where her cats came from the animal shelter so that's kind of her passion now ."

Ella received special messages from the White House and the governor thanking her for her good heart and dedicated spirit.
She says couldn't be more thankful and grateful to be living healthy and happy at the milestone of an age.

"I've got lots of good friends, they come to visit and they call me and I'm just glad that I can stay alone and take care of myself" Ella said.