Kula resident celebrates 108th birthday

MARGARET O’CONNOR, Feels younger than 108

Margaret O’Connor of Kula celebrated her 108th birthday Jan. 27 with neighbors, friends and family, including her son Brian O’Connor of Kihei.

The honoree started the party with a sparkly tiara and warm conversation with her guests. She was surprised the party was for her and she couldn’t believe that she could be that old; she said she felt much younger, according to reports from the party.

After opening some cards and posing for photos, she enjoyed a hot dog and she couldn’t get enough of the haupia cake. She is in good health and will tell you she’s “just fine” when you ask her how she’s doing.

Although she’s not as active as she used to be, she still enjoys sitting outdoors in the park, drinking her “sweet coffee” (handcrafted lattes), eating chocolates and listening to upbeat music reminiscent of the swing and Elvis era. She’s quick to tap her feet, sing some tunes or whistle to songs she remembers.

Just two years shy of being a supercentenarian, O’Connor credits her longevity to having a strong faith in God, her love of dogs, not letting things bother her, and (disclosed just this year) she said she keeps her eyes closed so she doesn’t have to see what she doesn’t want to see. She also has a great sense of humor.

Born in Seattle in 1911, the same year Orville Wright remained in the air for nine minutes and 45 seconds, O’Connor has seen 19 U.S. presidents in her lifetime and has outlived her husband and two sons. Formerly a registered nurse, she has lived in Washington, Indiana, New Jersey and Florida prior to residing on Maui and is a mother to five sons, over a dozen grandchildren and even more great-grandchildren.

At the end of the celebration, O’Connor graciously thanked everyone for attending her party and said she hopes they’ll all attend next year!