INDIANAPOLIS – While much of society hopes for a long-lasting, healthy life, Bernice Bohannon has lived it.
At 107 years old, Bohannon continues to live in her home, sew, cook and write her own checks to pay bills.
What’s her secret you might ask?
“Laughter and love everybody,” said Bohannon, who is said to be perfectly healthy and takes no medication.
She recently lived out that mantra during her 107th birthday party held at The Garrison Restaurant located on The Fort Golf Resort on Indy’s northeast side. Her official birthday is March 14.
Bohannon’s lifespan has covered major events like the prohibition era, Pearl Harbor, the 1945 atomic bomb on Japan, the Holocaust, the civil rights movement, the Cold, Korean, and Gulf wars, among several others - she’s seen it all.
Born in 1910 in Kentucky as the youngest of three brothers and seven sisters, Bohannon was married at the age of 16 to her childhood sweetheart for 53 years.
The couple immediately moved to Indianapolis following their wedding and together raised three children. She has outlived all of them.
An aid from CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions assists Bohannon with laundry, housework and preparing meals. Her nephew, Ken White, also helps look after her.
“She has a memory that blows your mind,” White said.
In her spare time, Bohannon loves to sew quilts. As a child, it was a skill she picked up from her older sisters. She later became a seamstress where she created tailored suits and furs.
At the age of 105, Bohannon participated in a women’s missionary club at Bethel A.M.E. Church where the group would work on craft projects and visit ill members.
Besides sewing and volunteering her time at the church, Bohannon is simply happy to still live in her home.
“Living in my own home is really important to me,” she said. “I enjoy staying at home, seeing my friends, and being surrounded by my things. My home is full of memories.”