ELLSWORTH — Thurley Royal will tell you that she has led an ordinary life, but it has been an extraordinarily long one.
The Ellsworth resident will celebrate her 100th birthday Sept. 5 with family and friends.
A laid-back attitude may be the secret to longevity, Royal said.
“I didn’t strive for anything I couldn’t have or anything like that,” she explained. “I accepted what came and made the best of it and that’s probably why I’ve lived as long as I have.”
She also wonders if her habitual mugs of black coffee have health benefits.
Royal was born in Orland in 1912 to Thurman and Lulu (Ginn) Snowman. She was a middle child in a brood of 10 — three boys and seven girls. She and her youngest sister are the last of the family still living.
Royal’s father worked in a mill making barrel tops and her mother kept the house and garden. Royal remembers childhood swims in Hancock Pond and walking more than a mile to school in East Bucksport each day.
“As soon as I got out of the grammar school, I went to work and I worked ever since until I retired,” Royal said.
She did housekeeping for local families and then waited on the lunch counter at The Grand. There, she met her future husband, Bob Royal, a barber.
“I guess I caught his eye,” Royal said.
After their marriage, the couple bought a home on Bridge Hill and Royal went to work at M.A. Clark Florist.
She worked at the business for 53 years, first helping the floral designer make arrangements and then planting seedlings in the greenhouses.