When Arizona became a state on Feb. 12, 1912, Elsie Lumley was nearly 5 years old. Today, she will celebrate her 101st birthday with family and friends at her home, the Courtyard Towers retirement community in downtown Mesa.
Lumley was born Elsie Mangino on March 13, 1907, in Gardiner, N.M.
"Birthdays don't excite me anymore," Lumley said.
But she said she's still grateful to the people who went to the trouble of arranging her party - which comes one day early this year.
Lumley has outlived three brothers, two sisters and her husband.
"I've had a lot of experiences in my life, some are good, some aren't so good," she said. "Mostly, they are good though. I've had good luck in my life."
Lumley met her husband, Richard, while working at an ice cream parlor in New Mexico. They were married Oct. 18, 1936, and had two daughters, Shirley and Sheila.
Lumley and her family moved to Arizona in 1953, and her husband died in 1961.
"I had a nice man, a good man," she said. "But everything ends after a while."
Lumley said she enjoyed playing baseball in her youth. Her husband was part of a traveling league team, and they both enjoyed the game.
"I used to play a lot of different things," Lumley said. "I don't anymore, but I still like to watch."
That doesn't mean Lumley has stopped trying new things. Her daughter, Shirley Davis, said she recently tried virtual bowling on a Nintendo Wii system in the community center's theater room.