New centenarians in Plymouth share secrets to living a long life

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

Plymouth — What's the secret to living a long life? For a group of new centenarians celebrating Monday, there isn't a single answer.

Independence Village of Plymouth assisted living facility held a birthday celebration for six residents turning 100 and, in one case, 103 years old. 

Each resident sat with family members at tables in the banquet hall with centerpieces showing "then and now" photographs of the residents' life. 

Plymouth Mayor Oliver Walcott and City Commissioner Marques Thomey spoke and issued proclamations honoring each celebrating resident before cake and coffee was served.

"It's an honor to be here and be a part of this birthday celebration," Walcott said.

The advice the centenarians have to offer:

Kristen Larsen of Plymouth crowns Jalileh Mansour as part of the “100 club” during the centennial birthday celebration at Independence Village of Plymouth, which celebrated birthdays for the five residents who are turning or have turned 100 years old, as well as another resident who is turning 103 in 2021. Mansour will be turning 100 on August 15, 2021.

Jalileh Mansour 

Born in Palestine, Mansour studied math and science in Lebanon before moving to Alabama to teach middle school. After teaching, Mansour worked in the research field at Henry Ford Hospital for 30 years. Mansour traveled the world, even meeting the king and queen of Jordan. 

Her secret to long life: Staying single and living your most authentic, exciting life.

Dorothy Rasmussen

Dorothy Rasmussen

Mother to 10 children and grandmother to six, Rasmussen was a government worker who loved to sew clothes for her children. Surrounded by her family, Rasmussen was gifted sets of playing cards as her favorite hobby is playing Euchre.

Her secret to long life: "I'm just here, that's all I know," she said. 

Elaine Galbraith

Priding herself on her massive collection of funny T-shirts, Galbraith's family said she loves to make people smile. Galbraith was a physical education teacher who loved to swim.

"I liked to stay in shape," Galbraith told The News. "I didn't want to be one of those fat physical education teachers so I swam a lot."

Elaine Galbraith

Her secret to long life: Staying healthy and in shape. 

William Brown

A World War II veteran, Brown served in the Army Corps of Engineers and has three daughters and one son. Brown has nine grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. He has a passion for aviation, as he got his pilot's license and enjoyed flying a twin-engine plane. He now enjoys flying model airplanes with his son.

His secret to long life: Brown said he couldn't expose his secret, but he was presented a bottle of Crown Royal, his favorite drink. 

Nancy Yockey shakes hands with William Brown during the centennial birthday celebration at Independence Village of Plymouth in Plymouth, Mich. on June 21, 2021. Brown turned 100 on June 13, 2021.

Louis Plant

Unable to attend the celebration in person, Plant was honored with a proclamation as well. A native Canadian, Plant moved to Detroit and became a bookkeeper before joining the U.S. Navy in 1942. Plant met his wife, Rita, after he was discharged and is the father of three. 

Evelyn Vinton, 103

Vinton was also unable to attend, as she is in hospice care. Vinton joined the Army after losing her husband in a training mission. She later remarried and adopted two daughters and is a grandmother and great-grandmother. Vinton is a poet and still enjoys writing poetry.