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Utah’s ‘maximum exclusive membership’: Governor celebrates state’s centenarians

WEST JORDAN — At 103 years previous, Claudio Dos Santos defies stereotypes. With a smartphone in his go well with jacket and a pc at house, the centenarian assists in keeping up with the most recent information, right here and in his local Brazil.

“The progress is difficult to follow but I think I made it,” Dos Santos mentioned with a smile.

“He’s got a computer — he’s on that computer every day,” in keeping with his son, Welster Dos Santos. “He’s always sending me stuff.”

On Thursday, Dos Santos celebrated his 103rd birthday. It additionally came about to be every other special occasion for him and 175 different Utahns who’ve reached or surpassed the age of 100 years in 2018.

“The most exclusive club in Utah — the centenarians,” Gov. Gary Herbert mentioned on the 32nd Centenarian Celebration, an tournament spotting Utah’s 100-year-old citizens. “Everybody, I think, generally aspires to get into the club and only a few make it.”

Over the path in their lives, but even so numerous improbable, non-public occasions, lots of the 100-somethings had been witnesses to 2 international wars, the creation of phones, televisions, radios, vehicles, house trip and the web.

Claudio Dos Santos isn’t any exception, his son mentioned, a private international traveler with a couple of patents underneath his title, the centenarian has sufficient recollections to fill a guide.

“He’s also the first Brazilian to ever sing in the tabernacle choir,” Welster Dos Santos mentioned.

“I know there’s 176 members in the club — and that’s growing,” Herbert mentioned. “People are living longer, with better lives thanks to the advancement of science, technology and medicine.”

Utah's 'maximum exclusive membership': Governor celebrates state's centenarians
Mary Kawakami, 105, poses for a portrait on the 32nd Centenarian Celebration on the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Photo: James Wooldridge, KSL)

By 2050, the state govt anticipates about 1,400 centenarians in Utah — concerning the measurement of the inhabitants of Duchesne, Coalville or Kamas.

Herbert in short met will the entire provide membership contributors Thursday, spotting the ones he is noticed in years previous and inviting the brand new centenarians to the workforce.

“You inspire us all,” Herbert mentioned all over any such quick conversations.

“Well, I hope so!” Harriet Matic answered. At 101 years previous, her wit is as sharp as ever.

Matic and Florence Johnson, 100, are a bit of of a wonder at Thursday’s dinner — the 2 are sisters.

“She’s still the boss,” Johnson mentioned. One hundred years have handed, and but the older sibling maintains her name.

Utah's 'maximum exclusive membership': Governor celebrates state's centenarians
Robert W. Simmons, 100, poses for a portrait on the 32nd Centenarian Celebration on the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Photo: James Wooldridge, KSL)

Utah's 'maximum exclusive membership': Governor celebrates state's centenarians
Telesila Castro, 103, poses for a portrait on the 32nd Centenarian Celebration on the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Photo: James Wooldridge, KSL)

“Our mother passed away when we were small, I was 4,” Matic mentioned. “And we stuck together. If she had problems, I’d take care of her problems with whoever’s naughty to her. You do it to my sister, I’ll take care of it.”

The two sisters are Utah natives, Matic, born in Sandy, and Florence, in Salt Lake City. After overcoming hindrances of their more youthful lives, shedding their mom and dealing with the Great Depression, the 2 have lived lives worthy of lasting a century.

Matic controlled 3 attractiveness salons with 45 staff. Johnson labored at an hands plant making bullets all over wartime and in addition hung out as a bookkeeper for Gordon Family Furniture in Tooele.

“I’m so happy that I’m still healthy and 101 and I’m so happy that she’s still 100 and still doing good,” Matic mentioned. “We can still see each other and laugh about our youth.”


I lived my existence my approach and advise you to do the similar. Be your self undoubtedly in all issues.

–Claudio Dos Santos, centenarian


Of Utah’s successes nowadays, the governor mentioned that the state has their centenarians like Matic and Johnson to thank.

“You’ve seen also Utah, our state, become one of the leaders of this nation,” Herbert mentioned. “We are now the most strong, diverse economy in America today, and in large part because of the work of our centenarians.”

In 1918, the inhabitants of the Beehive State simply exceeded 430,000 — 100 years later, it has exploded to an estimated three.16 million.

“I’ve always been interested in history,” mentioned Tanner Powell, an 18-year-old that volunteered at Thursday’s lunch. “Last school year, there was a class offered about World War II, and that just sparked my interest in meeting senior citizens.”

Utah's 'maximum exclusive membership': Governor celebrates state's centenarians
Grace Anderson, 100, poses for a portrait on the 32nd Centenarian Celebration on the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Photo: James Wooldridge, KSL)

While Powell has no connection to any of the centenarians, that spark had introduced him to talk with a few of them, taking within the mixed knowledge that used to be provide.

“Of all the people here, there’s 6,000 years between them — at least,” Powell mentioned. “You can learn so much, just from talking to these people and I think that’s something everyone should do.”

There used to be no communicate of regrets Thursday. After 100 years, Utah’s centenarians simplest have lives well-lived to provoke upon others.

“I lived my life my way and advise you to do the same,” Claudio Dos Santos said. “Be yourself positively in all things.”

Utah's 'maximum exclusive membership': Governor celebrates state's centenarians

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