Valley woman, Bertha Stone, turns 107 years old

PHOENIX - At two o'clock, the guests started to arrive. The balloons were blown up, and the cake was in place.

It's a big day for residents at the Kivel Campus of Care senior living center.

"All the residents have been really excited all day long," Crystal Tang, the center's recreation director said.

It's a big day because Bertha Stone is turning 107 years old.

"Happy birthday, dear Bertha," a crowd sang as Bertha entered the facility's cafeteria.

Stone is the oldest person they've ever seen around here, and it was cause for a party!

"I asked for a lemon cake for my birthday... Lemon cake," Stone said.

With her family and friends by her side, Bertha smiled and laughed as she celebrated another year.

"I am really proud of her and thankful for her," said her daughter, Gerrie Amos.

Although her daughters, now in their 80's, often visit, Bertha still lives on her own in a small apartment. She says she works hard and prays hard.

"I like church work better than I like any other kind of work," Stone said. "Always liked it better."

She grew up near Memphis, where she sewed clothes for a living, but eventually found her way to the Valley in 1991.

"She loves Phoenix," Amos said. "I'm trying to convince her to come back with me to Texas, but she really doesn't want to go."

Stone says the secret to longevity is good food, no drugs or booze and serving God first.

It was a special day for a special lady, and we wish her many more.

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