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Local Duluth woman celebrates 100th birthday

Staff Photo: John Bohn Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris signs a large birthday card during a celebration as Marjorie Fairley celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, in Duluth.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris signs a large birthday card during a celebration as Marjorie Fairley celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, in Duluth.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Marjorie Fairley, left, is escorted by her daughter Phyllis Nelson, right, to a party celebrating her 100th birthday Thursday, in Duluth.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Marjorie Fairley greets her great nephew Jerry Freeze, of Winston-Salem, NC, during a party to celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, in Duluth. Five generations of Fairley's family attended the party.

DULUTH -- On March 1, 1912, Marjorie Irene Copple Nelson Fairley was born at 6:30 a.m. in her house in Sedan, Kan.

There wasn't electricity, refrigeration or access to polio and flu shots, but she's watched all of these things change. One hundred years later, she was alive and well to celebrate a century of memories with five generations of Copples at Parc at Duluth on Thursday afternoon.

Her daughter Phyllis Nelson had planned the large party since the beginning of the year.

"We really wanted to extend the party out to different generations of our family," she said. "I mean, 100 years old -- how the hell don't you celebrate that?"

More than 50 people -- friends and family -- joined Fairley on her big day. The dining room which held the event was filled with balloons in the shape of cupcakes and the numbers one-zero-zero, disco lights and party favors.

During the party, Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris read a proclamation to Fairley announcing that March 1, 2012, was officially the birthday girl's day in Duluth. Then Nelson read letters from Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, and President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

For entertainment, singer-impressionist Maxwell Taylor took the floor for an hour of laughs and delight.

At the end of the day, Fairley gave some advice on living as long as she has: "Be who you are, do what's right and follow your heart. I think we all can attest to that."