Modesto is celebrating Marie Patton not as queen for a day, but as “queen of the century.”
The longtime resident was honored on Wednesday for her 105th birthday at the Casa de Modesto retirement center.
Marie was all smiles with a sparkly tiara on as she made her way to the dining room at the retirement center where she was greeted with cheers, applause and love.
“Wonderful blessing,” Marie said. “It’s a blessing to me.”
She was surrounded by friends, family and staff who sang to her and cheered as she blew out the candles on her cake.
Peggy Hegel, Marie’s daughter, said she was happy to see her mother receive so much support.
“I can’t walk through this dining room without someone telling me how great she is, how nice she is, how much they love her, and that’s everywhere,” Hegel said.
Marie was born and raised in Modesto and raised her children there during the post-World War II era.
Throughout her life, she has been many things: For starters, she was a beloved hairdresser by many. A former beauty school student of Marie’s was there to style her hair nice and fluffed with curls for her big day.
Marie was also once a field worker, and her last job was working for the area agency on aging.
But if you ask her family, the best role she fulfilled was being a mom.
“She demonstrated to us, or modeled for us that you take care of your family, you take care of those that need help, need a hand,” said David Patton, Marie’s son.
Marie has 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and 30 great-great-grandchildren with another soon on the way.
Those who know Marie say she is always positive and always optimistic, which they believe may just be the key to her long and seemingly happy life.
“I just put one foot in front of the other,” Marie said.