When you've lived more than a century, the phrase "Happy Birthday" takes on an extra dimension of meaning. Just ask Ogia Campbell, who celebrated her 107th year on Sept. 13 with a party hosted by her family.
For the last 12 years, Campbell has called Signature HealthCARE's Nashville Community Care and Rehab at Bordeaux her home. She stays active with a bevy of hobbies including cooking, canning, reading, writing, sewing and playing hairdresser to her neighbors.
Born in 1909 in Brownsville, Tenn., she was the 10th of 11 children for parents Susie and Paul Rivers. She married Martin Luther Campbell and had 3 children of her own: Gertrude, Willete and Olene. Living on a farm in Somerville, Campbell continued agricultural pursuits with Martin, raising cows, pigs, horses, ducks, and chickens and growing anything they could in their garden.
Campbell was known for many things in her community -- the homemade rolls she baked every Sunday, quilting with her sisters and the greeting cards she frequently sent to loved ones. She was also known for caring for others.
The Campbells, who were married 50 years when Martin died, often served as caregivers to elderly family members and were deeply involved in their community. They opened their house to traveling educators who came to teach in the community schools. Campbell was active in the Parent-Teacher Association and provided neighborly help when she could.
She continues to stay busy today, keeping up with her four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She also enjoys staying up to date on current events by reading her hometown papers and watching CNN news. Campbell credits her longevity to staying young at heart, mind and spirit.
What does she have planned for next year's birthday? You'll just have to ask her ... if you can catch up to her.