mary otterson marie blankley
Contributed photo

Mary Otterson (left) shares a laugh with Mayor Marie Blankley during Otterson’s 102nd birthday celebration on Sept. 25 at Merrill Gardens in Gilroy. Otterson was born in Oklahoma and raised on a farm, the oldest of five children. Only she and her youngest sister Dorothy, 95, are surviving. She has four children, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and great-great-great-grandchildren. Otterson worked in nursing at Eden Township Hospital in Castro Valley for more than 30 years in the Maternity Ward, saying she loved working with the babies and new mothers. Up until recently she was an avid reader. She is known for her vegetable gardening and flowers, and is famous among her family for her homemade pies and jellies. Doing all these activities kept her healthy and busy during her retirement years, her family said. She was able to go to Germany with one of her sisters when she was in her 80s. She still walks to Merrill Gardens’ dining room every day. The trip she talks of the most was driving to Alaska with another sister and her husband when she was in her late 70s. Blankley presented Otterson with a certificate during the celebration.

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