Supercentenarian Celebrates 110th Birthday And Shares Her Secret To Living Such A Long Life

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,, HelloGiggles,, What to Expect, and more.

Ethel Bowens has a very special birthday this month. The oldest living woman in Oklahoma is turning 110.

That’s a lot of birthday candles and a huge cause for celebration.

“Yeah, I’m happy to be alive,” she said.

Born in Guthrie just a couple of years after Oklahoma became a state, Ethel has seen her fair share of history. The supercentenarian was alive when the Titanic sank and lived through World Wars I and II. She and her husband, Volna, had their first child after 17 years together. In 1953, their twins were born, bringing their total number of children to six.

“We got started and couldn’t stop,” Ethel said. Now their family is too big to keep up with. “I don’t know. I can’t count ’em,” she said. In addition to her six children, Ethel now has 29 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren, and 46 great-great-grandchildren, with more on the way. She hopes to see most of her huge family at her birthday celebration this year.

The oldest living woman in Oklahoma credits this secret to her living a long, happy life: “One man,” she said. She and her husband Volna were married for more than 60 years.

“He was a good man and a good provider. He had to be to stay with me,” Ethel told KFOR.

She also credits her long life to not smoking or drinking and her faith in God. “What I really admire about her is her faith in God. She tells us that all of the time. She says that’s her lifeline,” her daughter-in-law, Rhonda Bowens, said.

See what else the witty Ethel has to say in the video.

Footage provided by KFOR Oklahoma City

Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.