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      Heartland woman celebrates 100th birthday

      Freda Fries says she thinks the key to a long life is happiness--a happiness that she's had on earth for 100 years.

      The Kirksville woman has lived through seventeen U.S. Presidents and is still in good health to talk about it.

      Freda says she never thought she would live on earth this long.

      "It's just been a lot of experience, I can't tell you everything that went on, but I've seen an awful lot of changes," said Freda.

      Saturday she celebrated ten decades of life with her family and friends.

      "And I've got a lot of wonderful friends, which makes like that much more happier," said Freda. "So I just can't complain."

      "Anyone that lives to be 100 years of and is still as vital and active as my mother is, why not celebrate that and celebrate her life," said Connie Ledford, Freda's daughter.

      She lost her husband eight years ago. She still cooks her own meals, does laundry and is able to care for herself.

      Freda has been having some problems, so she can't get around like she used to, but she's still living by herself.

      Up until last year, she was still able to drive and she loves cooking.

      "I love baking and cooking and dancing," said Freda. My husband and I danced every Saturday night, that was a must until he wasn't able to dance anymore. It's something I've missed."

      Freda has one daughter, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren, all who she holds dear to her heart.

      "Love of family, said Ledford. "I've learned many things from my mother, but family has always been dear to her and it to me as well."

      Hardly looking much more than 80-years-old, Freda says she has a good mind, thankful and blessed to see this many years

      Out of eight brothers and sisters, Freda is the last living relative.