LIFE

Mayor Presents Centenarian With Honorary Certificate To Celebrate Her 100th Birthday

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper, BlackGirlNerds.com, HelloGiggles, Oxygen.com, What to Expect, and more.

Bernice Raemer just joined a very special club. She’s officially a centenarian! Bernice received a special honor from the mayor of her town, Vacaville, California, for this rare achievement.

Originally from Minneapolis, Bernice moved to Oakland in the 1940s and later Burlingame in the 1980s. In the ’90s, she worked at the San Francisco Chronicle. Her very big birthday was cause for not only celebration but also a certificate from the mayor! Mayor Ron Rowlett presented the 100-year-old with a centenarian certificate for her birthday.

Though there are now currently more centenarians than ever before in history, and women centenarians outnumber men, it’s still an amazing occurrence to experience someone’s 100th birthday.

In 1900, the average life expectancy was only 50 years old. Today, the average life expectancy for someone born in 2016 in the United States is 78.6 years.

Scientists are still trying to figure out why some people live such long lives, but they generally agree that genes play a part and lifestyle adds even more years. Bernice’s secret to living a long life of 100 years and counting? Apparently, it’s having no husband and no kids. It also doesn’t hurt to live in sunny California. According to the Sacramento Bee, California is second only to Hawaii in leading the United States in having a 100-and-over crowd — 5,921 centenarians called California home in 2010.

Watch the video to see Bernice’s celebration!

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