MORRIS – When Lucile Riggs was born 105 years ago, she was the second born to her parents, but their firstborn died as a baby.
Lucile is actually her middle name, although that is what everyone calls her. Her first name is Eve.
“My father said name her Eve Lucile so she’ll never die,” Lucile said.
“And he was right!” Betty Jennings of Coal City, Lucile’s former neighbor, said Wednesday while visiting Lucile for her birthday.
Lucile and her husband, Robert, live at Park Pointe Senior Living in Morris where Lucile is the oldest resident. Park Pointe not only celebrated Lucile’s birthday Wednesday, but also any resident whose birthday is in December.
Birthday parties are held every month at the senior facility, said Melissa Willis, activities coordinator.
Lucile’s daughter, grandson and his wife, and her great-granddaughter were present to celebrate with her.
“She’s a celebrity today,” said Darlene Twaragowski, Lucile’s granddaughter-in-law.
Despite her age, Lucile is pretty healthy. She has beat cancer four times and only started using a wheelchair two years ago after she broke her hip.
In 2006 she was recognized as the oldest successful cancer patient from Joliet Oncology Hematology Associates. This was for surviving breast cancer, but she has also beaten bladder cancer three times.
“I feel pretty good for that age,” she said. “Course, I get tired but everybody does that.”
On her birthday Lucile and her husband, who is 93, took time to reminisce. The couple has been married for 24 years. They were neighbors in Lombard when they married to other people, and after each became widows, they reconnected.
They enjoyed traveling together and one day Robert invited her to Las Vegas.
“He said one day, ‘Would you like to go to Las Vegas?’ I said, ‘Oh yes,’ and he said, ‘While we’re there we might as well get married,’” Lucile said.
After they were married, the couple lived in Coal City and Carbon Hill before moving to Morris.
Lucile was the oldest of six. She had two daughters, and her family is up to five generations now.