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Marysville woman celebrates 104th birthday

Ursula Earnshaw, center, is flanked by daughter Gloria Woge, right, and granddaughter Maureen Torset, left, at her 104th birthday birthday Oct. 8. - Kirk Boxleitner
Ursula Earnshaw, center, is flanked by daughter Gloria Woge, right, and granddaughter Maureen Torset, left, at her 104th birthday birthday Oct. 8.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — "I still feel 35," said Ursula Earnshaw, a resident of the Marysville Care Center who celebrated her 104th birthday Oct. 8. "I don't feel any different."

"You still like to look at young men, don't you?" Marysville Care Center Activity Director Julie Garreis asked Earnshaw, before helping her cut her cake.

"That's right," Earnshaw said.

Earnshaw was born Oct. 8, 1905, and lived in Kankakee, Ill., a small town outside of Chicago. She realized what she wanted to do early on, when she started designing hats at the age of 10. Her work as a hat-maker would earn her the title "Ms. Hat," which she lived up to by furnishing hats for Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Earnshaw's accomplishments didn't stop there. She not only became a fashion designer who gave modeling classes to aspiring models, but she also wound up traveling the world twice. Earnshaw had tea with Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace, climbed partway up Mount Everest and walked the Great Wall of China when she was 70.

Earnshaw has enjoyed dancing and riding horses, and she still loves reading history books and drinking tea. She's been a guest on NBC's "Today" show three times, and her family thinks she's just as remarkable. Earnshaw was joined at her birthday party by her daughter, Gloria Woge, and one of her two grandchildren, Maureen Torset.

"All her brothers and sisters died in their 90s," Woge said. "She's the last one living."

"We've got some longevity in our family," Torset said. "Not many families can celebrate having four generations alive."

"This has been surprising," Earnshaw said, of both her birthday party and making it to her 104th birthday. "I wasn't expecting it, but I don't regret any of it. I lived a good life, but I can't take credit for any of it. It's all been good."

When asked the secret to her longevity, Earnshaw said, "Living clean."

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