• 55°

Brewton native celebrates 104th birthday

So how does a 104 year old like to celebrate her birthday?
If you are Myrtle Renner Croker, then the answer is simple – lots of dancing and a little bit of cake.
“I love to dance,” Croker said “It’s great exercise that keeps you going.
“But at 104, I have to watch what I eat — I might lose my figure,” she said with a twinkle in her blue eyes.
Croker celebrated her birthday on Monday, Feb. 23, at Brookdale Senior Living of Greeneville where she was surprised with a cake, balloons and loads of finger food at a party thrown by the assisted-living facility’s staff and fellow residents.
Croker was married for 72 years to Thomas Croker Jr., who died in 2003 at the age of 91.
The Crokers had three daughters: the late Dr. Carolyn Croker Matthews; Kathleen Burns, who lives in Jackson, Miss., with her husband Dr. Homer Burns, and Charlotte Croker Kerr, who lives in Birmingham, with her husband, Bob Kerr.
Her daughter, Kathleen Burns, said during a telephone interview that she and her sister try to visit their mother in Tennessee at least every six weeks.
“She is a very independent woman,” she said of her mother.
The bulk of Thomas Croker’s career — around 40 years — was spent in Alabama.
Following his retirement, the Crokers decided to sell their home in Brewton, and move to Myrtle Croker’s family farm in the St. James community in the late 1980s, where she lived until 2012, when she decided to move to the assisted-living facility that she now calls home.
Residents and guests filled the lobby area to help Croker celebrate her big day.
“I love parties,” Croker said with a smile as she surveyed the festivities.
“And I enjoy living. If you enjoy fellowship and the company of others, then it keeps you going.”
“And I enjoy living. If you enjoy fellowship and the company of others, then it keeps you going.”
When asked how it feels to be 104 years old, Croker said with a laugh, “Well, it really doesn’t feel any different than 103 did.”