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Centennial group honors a Price centenarian, 101

Family and friends surround Bernita Mortensen to celebrate the 101st anniversary of her birth.

Sun Advocate reporter

Bernita Mortensen has many reasons to celebrate her life. A hundred and one reasons to be exact.

Mortensen, who turned 101 back on Feb. 27, was honored by the Price City Centennial Committee in conjunction with the year-long celebration of Price City's 100th birthday. On Thursday and Friday, Mortensen's life was honored by her family, fellow residents and employees at the Parkdale Care Center and Price City Mayor Joe Piccolo and his wife Barbara.

Dan Wissmar, one of Mortensen's sons, said his mother was born in Mount Pleasant on Feb. 27, 1910. Over the course of her life she graduated from the University of Utah, spent more than 20 years working as a kindergarten teacher in Ventura, Calif., and had the opportunity to travel widely around the world. She also raised three sons. She moved to Price in 1987 and has been here ever since.

Despite her age of 101, Mortensen stays as active as she can. Family members and employees at Parkdale say she still loves to belt out a song every now and then.

"I don't really have the voice for it, but I try," she said.

To reach the age of 101 in life, Mortensen said she didn't have any special secrets that have enabled to her live this long. People should focus on taking events in life as they come instead of spending too much time worrying about things, she said.

"There are some things you can change in life and some things you can't," Mortensen explained. "Take it as it comes and take the best of it."

Mortensen, however, isn't looking to slow down in life any time soon. Wissmar said his mother has talked about wanting to live to reach the age of 110.

"It was stunning," Wissmar said. "She really wants to live to that age. She lives a lot through her memories that she has experienced over the years."

Mortensen, draped in a pink sash celebrating her age of 101, jokingly said she didn't remember her birthday until someone reminded her about it. It's just a part of who she is taking things one day at a time.

"Just do the best you can in life," she said. "I'm just lucky to have lived this long."

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