This Oklahoma woman turned 100 today on her 25th birthday
ยท Feb 29, 2024 ยท

Mary Lea Forsythe of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, will be turning 100 years old this February 29, but it's only her 25th birthday.


Forsythe is a "leapling," as children born on Leap Day are affectionately called. This puts her in a group of only about 5 million people worldwide who only get to experience celebrating their actual birthdays once every four years.

This year, she was celebrated a few weeks early when the Centenarians of Oklahoma and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution surprised her at a local library event that she would be speaking at.

Forsythe said of the celebration,

When I walked in, there were flashers going off and they were taking my picture as I came into the room. There were dignitaries from the city and there was a proclamation read. My goodness, it was shocking. The room was full of people. โ€ฆ I never had been that surprised in my life.

Mary Lea says that she has lived a full life, growing up in a Christian family, marrying a good man, and raising two children together. She was married to her husband, William, for 68 years before he passed away in 2011. The two first met and bonded over their love for worship music, and they would later travel and sing worship music together.

Mary Lea told USA Today that she still loves to go to church and sing.

One memory in particular will forever tie her to her faith. She was 6 years old and sat at the front of the sanctuary at church. As she sat there, the preacher talked about how God loves and forgives everyone who asks him to enter their hearts, she said.

'So I went to the front and I knelt at the altar,' she said. 'I asked Jesus to come into my heart โ€ฆ then I went back to my seat and sat down. I've never been sorry, I'll tell you. It has been a wonderful life.'

As for life advice, the newly inducted centenarian encouraged people to read their Bibles. I think that's a reminder we could all use.

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