From growing up on a Washington orchard to dedicating her services to the Methodist Church, Luella Luther has lived and thrived throughout the past 100 years.
Born in 1914, Luther is celebrating her 100th birthday Saturday, Nov. 29.
Earlier this month, Luther had a birthday party, hosted by her daughter Lorna Buckalew for friends and family at the Monticola Club. The celebration closer to her actual birth date will include close family.
“It will be a nice kind of relaxed birthday,” said Buckalew.
Luther was born in Truax, Washington and helped on her father, Gerald King’s fruit orchard.
According to Buckalew, Luther helped a great deal by working on the orchard, which produced cherries, apples, grapes, peaches, pears and plums. She also helped cook for the workers.
Then, she met her husband, the recently passed Carter Luther, who was an agriculture teacher.
Buckalew remembers only being allowed soda during a two week holiday, and rarely eating anything but her mother’s home-cooked dinners.
She attributes her mother’s long life to her healthy habits of eating fresh, unprocessed food, never smoking and rarely drinking alcohol.
Luella and Carter Luther had four children, Gary Luther, Gerald Luther, Buckalew and the late Vern Luther. Between them are 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. The family was raised in Idaho.
Buckalew remembers walking home from school and stopping by the Methodist Church to meet up with her mother, who she claimed was “always cooking for the church.”
Both Luella and Carter Luther moved to Susanville about five years ago, according to Buckalew, and some of their favorite activities included taking drives and counting animals.
“She loves to go out everyday and count deer … and we write (how many deer we saw) on the calendar,” said Buckalew, recounting a recent sighting of a deer with Christmas lights wrapped in its antlers.
Additionally, Luther exhibited her strength through the process of being one of the first few patients in the United States to undergo Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Sacramento.
“That was really an accomplishment for mom at that age,” added Buckalew.
Buckalew submitted her mother’s story and birthday to see if it could be announced on the Today Show for its recognition of centenarians.