What’s the secret to living to 103? Dorothy Clayton, would insist it is eating right and having a purpose in life. Dorothy was born during the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

Her mother didn’t expect the sickly infant to live and didn’t even name her until she made it past her first few days. When the baby girl defied the odds, her father named her “Dorothy,” which means “gift of God.” Dorothy lived with respiratory issues most of her life.

Her family moved from Missouri to Pasadena, California, when Dorothy was 11 years old. Growing up during the Depression, she remembers her life was much like the TV show, “The Waltons.” Her mother wore a long, ankle-length skirt, that shy Dorothy would hide in when she encountered strangers.

She served in the Salvation Army for 24 years and worked at the post office for 16 years. Dorothy believes in eating healthy and being active with her great-grandchildren— even to the point of relearning to ride a bike when she was 60 years old! 

Her grandchildren, now grown, rotate taking care of Dorothy. More than two years ago, she was referred to hospice because of her heart condition. She declined to accept hospice services but soon realized hospice care would allow her to stay in her home where she wanted to be.

Her NAH care team recently held a small birthday celebration for her. As you can see from the birthday cards pictured above, her friends and family all wished her well on her 103rd birthday. Dorothy’s long and purpose-filled life is an inspiration to everyone who meets her and we are honored to help care for her.