Governor looking for centenarians

By Becky GINOS

BOUNTIFUL—Living to be 100 is quite an accomplishment. So the Utah Department of Human Services of Aging and Adult Services is looking for people who are 100 or are going to be in the coming year for the Governor’s Century Club. “We compile all the records and have a celebration once a year,” said the agency’s public information officer Debbie Booth. “We’re always looking for people to join the club. We usually contact the area’s aging services and also by word of mouth.” Booth said the Governor and Lt. Governor usually attend. This year’s celebration is Aug. 23. “It’s a fun event,” she said. “They receive a certificate and a pen from the governor, so there’s the notoriety of that. They can also have a photo taken with the Governor and Lt. Governor.” Locally, Bountiful resident Grace Anderson counts herself among those centenarians. Anderson just celebrated her 100th birthday Feb. 2, 2018. “I was born in Tremonton,” said Anderson who still lives on her own. “I grew up on a ranch in Idaho.” Anderson and her sister loved ballroom dancing and the Big Band orchestras that traveled through the country playing at different venues. “They played at Downata (Hot Springs),” she recalled. “Every summer my father would close down operations for two days and we’d go to Lava Hot Springs (too). We had to milk the cows before we left and get home before they needed to be milked again. I used to milk 31 cows before the men even got off the field. I think that’s why I have strong hands today.” Although her heart was in ranching, she was offered a job in Las Vegas to be a buyer for a gift shop franchise. “I told him (boss) that I don’t even like to go shopping,” she laughed. “He said ‘you’ll learn.’ I purchased gifts for shops in Las Vegas and traveled to New York and San Francisco. It was quite a change from my old life. It was hard work.” Anderson continued her career until she was 75. “But when I was 35 I read an article in the Saturday Evening Post about Alaska,” she said. “So I always wanted to live in Alaska. My son was a pilot in the Air Force and he got stationed in Alaska. (When I retired) I found a spot I loved called Nancy Lake and when a cabin came available I purchased it. I completely remodeled it. It had no running water, etc.” When her son retired he came to Utah and Anderson moved to Salt Lake as well in 2004. She’s lived in Bountiful for the last couple of years. There have been a lot of changes over 100 years. “I remember harnessing eight head of horses to do the harvest and now they have big machines that do it,” she said. “You can get on an airplane and travel across the United States in one day.” Anderson attributes her longevity to good genes. “I’ve never been sick,” she said. “I don’t take any medications – not even aspirin. I walk every day and use the exercise machine.” To learn more about the Century Club or to add a name, call Aging Services at 801-538-3910. A yearbook from past events can be found at


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