Virginia Seawright celebrates 102nd birthday
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2014
When 102-year-old Virginia Seawright thinks about the key to her longevity, her explanation is simple.
“I eat right, live right, enjoy life and be happy,” said Seawright who celebrated her birthday Wednesday at Heritage House Retirement Center, where she has been a resident since April 2004.
Born in Claiborne County, Seawright attended college at the University of Houston, where she studied mathematics. After college, she spent 17 years as a mathematics teacher in Claiborne County.
She then moved to Texas with her late husband, Lou, and taught there for 24 years. After her husband died in 1983, she expanded her horizons by traveling the U.S. and six of the seven continents.
“I traveled all over Europe. Then I went from Europe to North Africa. From there, I went to Egypt.”
Traveling was like receiving an education, she said.
“Everywhere I went, I learned something about that country’s culture. I did a lot of sight seeing. I didn’t miss anything. I went in with the intent of making the most of it and as a result, I fully enjoyed all of the travels I made.”
Of all the places she has traveled, visiting The Holy Land stands out as her favorite.
“I really enjoyed traveling to Israel. It was my best trip.”
Every Monday, Seawright goes to Lady Luck Casino with one of the retirement center’s workers. The casino staff greeted her with a birthday gift this week.
“I went down there on my birthday and they greeted me with a dozen roses. The roses are so beautiful. They also baked me a cake.”
Playing the dollar slot machine is Seawright’s favorite activity at the casino. She hopes that one day she can win the grand prize of $800.
“It’s time for me to hit the jackpot. I’ll hit it one of these days.”
Seawright’s niece and Port Gibson native Jan Parker marveled at her aunt’s vibrant demeanor.
“It’s pretty amazing that she’s made it this far. She is lively and full of joy. Her longevity is very inspiring,” said Parker.
Director of the Heritage House Kim Carr described Seawright as an outgoing person who they enjoy being around.
“She’s an active person with a fun personality. She goes to a lot of activities here, especially bingo. She also likes to attend the birthday parties we have here for other residents. She is going really strong and I think that she will be around for a while. She really celebrates life,” said Carr.