Stephanie McGraw – 104 years

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January 24, 1905 – July 31, 2009

Stephanie McGraw responded to my letter by sending a copy of an article with a handwritten signature.  There was no additional letter but, I want to note that Ms. McGraw passed away a little over two months after she sent this reply.  And let’s not forget, she’s responding to a total stranger.

Stephanie was not a common name for babies born in 1905.  In that year, Stephanie was ranked 585 on the Social Security baby name site.

The photocopy image doesn’t do her justice.  She has a surprisingly youthful appearance for a lady who just celebrated 104 years of life.  Her white hair is cut in a stylish short doo.  Its no surprise that she cut it herself as she spent many years running a 16 station hair salon.  She became a stylist for Howard Hughes’ Hollywood studios and went on to become the contract stylist for Jane Russell.  For those of us too young to know who Jane Russell is, she was an actress in the 1940’s and 50’s.  She appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opposite Marilyn Monroe.

So what’s her secret?  Stephanie did not directly answer the long life question but the article discusses what may have contributed to it.  It may be in the genes, she had a grandmother who lived to be 105 years old!  She characterizes herself as worry-free and having self-confidence.  It is also mentioned that she eats healthy foods and stays active.  She’s quoted as saying, “Enjoy life fully, and enjoy the people in your life while you have them.”  And I think that sums it up.

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