Hawai‘i is fortunate to be the home of many centenarians, and I love writing about them. Most recently, I spent time with Edward Jurkens, who celebrated his 100th birthday on December 23, 2017. We planned to talk at his apartment then go to lunch. On the way there, I thought, “Where should I park so I can drive him somewhere?”
Born in ‘Ewa to plantation workers, Sadie Kaya had the best childhood ever. Her memory of growing up there is so strong today, at the age of 103, that she sang a childhood song to me: “Ewa is our happy home. Yes, yes, oh yes. Never from her shall we roam. No, no, oh no. Oh how happy now are we, when we see the DPD. Soon the waters we shall see. Sing, children, sing.”
Turning 100 is no small feat, but Mrs. Lenora Cho made it look easy when she officially became a centenarian in 2017. Lenora, a small-town girl from back East, found ways to stay active early on in life: in high school, she played basketball and softball.
ukiko Murata, who will turn 102 in March, has a sharp wit and sunny outlook on life. To stay healthy, she eats fresh foods, takes classes at the University of Hawai‘i and plays hanafuda (Japanese card game) every Thursday at the Lanakila Senior Center, together with her daughter, Joanne Murata, and son-in-law, James Kramer. Yukiko shared advice with Generations Magazine: