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Iowan celebrates 110th birthday

JOHNSTON - It's not very often you hear people celebrating their 100th birthday, but one Iowan has that number beat, and then some.

On Sunday, Hazel Ventling rang in her 110th birthday surrounded by generations of family.

"Oh honey I feel like a princess," said Ventling.

Ventling was born June 5, 1908 in southern Iowa. Unlike most seniors, she welcome's her birthday.

"Some of my best birthdays...I've never had one that wasn't good, I've had them all," said Ventling.

As you can imagine, the 110-year-old hasn't lost her wit over the years.

"I told them I'm 16 and holy, mostly holy," said Ventling.

Even though Hazel is the oldest, her family's crowned her as the one with the best sense of humor.

She has eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

"I can only hope to be like her when I am older, she is amazing" said great-granddaughter, Brenda Schumaker.

"Her mind is pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid so talking her today is the same as talking to her when I was a kid," said great-grandson, John Helm.

Hazel also has about two two dozen great-great-grandkids. Some of whom flew into town to wish her a happy birthday.

"She has great genes, I hope I get them," said great-great-granddaughter, Ashley Hempling.

Even her youngest great-great-grandson who's just three, was there for the milestone party.

Hazel says she's not giving away her secret to living a long and healthy life, but family say's it's her positivity and maturing with grace.

"You don't realize she is aging you know when you live with someone everyday, you don't think of them being that old," said daughter, Sharon Goben.

"She is lively, positive and wonderful, she keeps everyone in the family going," said granddaughter Sondra Mckeever. 

And Hazel hopes life keeps going, she says she's nowhere near done.

"I'm looking for 120," said Ventling.

There are only a few reported super-centenarians in the state, and a couple hundred world-wide. 

A super-centenarian is someone who has lived to or past their 110th birthday

Congratulations Hazel, you are one of the oldest people in Iowa and the entire world!


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