Harrisburg woman celebrates 109th birthday


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Michelle Gilmore broke the news to her grandma, Margaret Devlin.

“Do you know that you’re 109 today?” she asked.

“Oh, that’s getting old,” Devlin said.

“That is getting old,” Gilmore said.

She may be getting old, but the birthday queen has a lot to celebrate.

“She’s a pretty amazing lady. She has five children, 18 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and then 19 great-great-grandchildren,” Gilmore said.

“She has grandkids from ages of 63 down to 30 and the same way with her great-grandkids, they range in age from four up to 37,” said Devlin’s daughter, Beth Mariani.

From her younger years until now, Mariana says her mom loved her family and cared about everyone around her.

“She just always was there to help everybody and take care of everybody, which is why I think she’s had such a good long life,” Mariani said.

She’s lived a long life worth celebrating with her family and a giant birthday cake.

“The workers here, they all call her Nana because they all love her,” Gilmore said. “She tries to take care of everybody, so they set this all up for her.”

She now calls Homeland Center in Harrisburg home, but it wasn’t too long ago she was still living on her own.

“She lived by herself until she was 104, took care of everything, cooked, cleaned, took care of herself completely,” Gilmore said.

Devlin was the middle child of seven and had five of her own with her husband of 59 years.

“I was the last of five kids, Mariani said. “We grew up in the small town of Steelton. She was a stay-at-home mom, always took care of her kids first.”

“I like to dance,” Devlin said.

“You do like to dance!” Gilmore said.

“We used to dance in her living room, do the jitterbug, so she was just always very fun and very caring. She means so much to me,” Gilmore said.

The last couple of years have been a little tough for Devlin, but her family is already looking forward to celebrating her 110th birthday next year.

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