Alma Napoleon poses for a picture at her birthday celebration in the community hall of Centennial Village Apartments in Steger. Napoleon celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday. | Terrance Peacock/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:44PM
Family, friends and neighbors gathered this past week in the community hall of Centennial Village Apartments in Steger to celebrate a special day for a village resident who has lived long enough to accomplish and see many things.
Alma Napoleon marked her 100th birthday Wednesday. She said she was grateful to reach 100 and especially thankful that she has done so in good health and while feeling well.
“A lot of people my age, they are in wheelchairs and everything else,” Napoleon said. “I’m surprised I feel the way I do. I have to thank the guy upstairs.”
Another impressive aspect of hitting the century mark is that she is still able to live by herself with occasional help from her son, Ray Napoleon. It wasn’t until last year that she stopped driving, and it wasn’t because of her age.
“I got my license when I was 99 years old, but when I came home my car fell apart, and they had to haul my car away,” Napoleon said.
She said she only worked outside her home in one job, at a doctor’s office for 10 years. Otherwise, she said, she was a housewife, known these days as a stay-at-home mom, taking care of her son and grandchildren — something her son said he’s very grateful for.
“I was an only child, and my father was a musician,” Ray Napoleon said. “She has always been a great mother, great cook, great friend, great grandmother and has always dedicated herself to her family.”