Four centenarians celebrating birthdays at Golden Oaks Village on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, are (from left) Sophia Thesman, Helen Jack, Opal Gillenwater and Ruby Wilson. 

ENID, Okla. — A large crowd gathered at Golden Oaks Village on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, to celebrate this year’s induction of four people into the Centenarians of Oklahoma organization.

The inductees recognized were Ruby Wilson, 102; Opal Gillenwater, 100; Sophia Thesman, 102; and Helen Jack, 100.

Sue Scott, of the Centenarians of Oklahoma of Tulsa, presented the women with framed certificates along with a “Golden Okie” button. Enid City Manager Jerald Gilbert spoke and declared Thursday Centenarian Day of Enid.

State Sen. Roland Pederson, R-Burlington, presented the honorees with declarations from the state Legislature, and they also received a note of good wishes from President Joe Biden.

Residents and guests were served cake, ice cream and punch after the ceremony.

“How often are we lucky enough to celebrate this milestone with not just one but four centenarian birthdays at once?” said Elaine Johns, director of sales and marketing at Golden Oaks Village, in an email announcing Thursday’s event. “Reaching 100 is like breaking a sports record that has stood for decades. Although more seniors are passing this mark, it is still a remarkable feat in life.”

The oldest known person in Oklahoma is 109-year-old Lois Boston, of Guymon, according to centenariansok.com. The last census report shows 450 centenarians live in Oklahoma. Centenarians of Oklahoma is self-funded and can be reached at centenariansofokla homa@gmail.com.

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Byrd is the education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Suzie? Send an email to sbyrd@enidnews.com.

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