By Katie Demeria
MAURERTOWN -- Virginia Myers has lived in the Shenandoah Valley all her life -- which, as of Monday, has lasted a century.
Born in Edinburg, Myers turned 100 on Monday and celebrated with staff and residents at Dutch Haven Assisted Senior Living in Maurertown.
The assisted living facility provided cake for Myers and the other residents, and Woodstock Mayor Jeremy McCleary attended to show his support for Myers.
According to Myers' daughter Anne Dellinger, Myers has a large family, which includes her son Ben Myers, who continues to run the family's farm.
"So there's someone from the family there to see her every day," Dellinger said.
Virginia Myers has been living with Alzheimer's disease for several years, according to Dutch Haven Resident Care Coordinator Nickie Shoemaker.
"She's such a wonderful lady, she's always smiling, and is so mild mannered," Shoemaker said.
Shoemaker said Myers does not take any medications.
"Her health is excellent, she has no past issues," she said.
Myers always had a pretty healthy lifestyle, Dellinger said, which probably accounts for her age.
"I think it's pretty remarkable," Dellinger said.
While anyone turning 100 is impressive, Shoemaker said it is fairly uncommon for those with Alzheimer's because the disease usually progresses quickly after reaching a certain age.
"Of course, every individual is different," Shoemaker said.
Myers was able to live in her home until her mid-nineties, Dellinger said. The family was so close that they were able to provide her with what she needed, until her condition progressed too far.
For most of her life, Myers was a home economics teacher. She used to work at the school in Toms Brook, Triplett Tech, and Stonewall Jackson High School.
"She eventually taught at the college level, as well, at Bridgewater College," Dellinger said.
She went to college herself at James Madison University, Dellinger added, though at the time it was called the State Normal and Industrial School for Women.
Due to her Alzheimer's disease, Marketing Director Linda Kurtz said Myers may not have been aware that it was her birthday. But Shoemaker said Myers enjoys touching different textures, so she was happy to touch the birthday icing and lick it off her fingers.
Myers was showered with attention at her birthday celebration -- she smiled easily at those around her as she ate cake next to McCleary.
McCleary was able to celebrate another Dutch Haven resident's 100th birthday a little over two years ago.
"It's a great facility," McCleary said.
Dutch Haven has a Morning Glory Program, which is designed specifically to help those residents with memory issues, like Myers.
"Everything is geared toward helping with their dementia," Shoemaker said. "We try to encourage cognitive function. We give them a sense of purpose and make sure they don't think they're just hanging around without anything to do -- we're here to help them, not limit their independence."
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org