Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TOP STORY >> Life’s beautiful when you’re 100

Leader staff writer

Spring Creek Health and Rehab resident Vivian Buchanan turned 100 years old last Thursday in grand style — with a surprise birthday party in the dining hall. Residents and staff sang “Happy Birthday” as Buchanan blew out the candles on two cakes. She donned a tiara and a colorful boa.

Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert proclaimed Vivian Buchanan Day in the city.

Buchanan was born on Oct. 4, 1912, in Polk County. Her family moved to Prairie County when she was a young girl. Her father was a school teacher and a farmer. Her mother was a homemaker. Buchanan had 11 brothers and sisters who all worked on the family farm. Four siblings are still surviving.

Buchanan completed the ninth grade. She worked as a sales clerk in Young’s Department Store in Des Arc until moving to Little Rock in 1951. She worked in retail until retiring in 1975 from Meyer Brothers Drug Store in Little Rock.

“I had many boyfriends, but did not marry,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan has no children, but many nieces and nephews who love her like a mother.

She was a member of First Baptist Church in Des Arc and in Little Rock. Buchanan loved to travel around the U.S. and made several trips with the Little Rock church’s senior church group.

Buchanan rented apartments until she purchased a home in 1970. She and her mother lived together in that home until her mom’s passing in 1995.

Buchanan lived there until 2009 before moving to Spring Creek Health and Rehab in Cabot.

“The good Lord helped me. I tried to live a Christian life,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan enjoys living at Spring Creek Health and Rehab. “The people here are wonderful to me,” she said.

Resident Carl Williams said, “Vivian is a quality lady in all respects. She is an example of what America is all about.”

Williams said Buchanan is an inspiration, as he has 16 more years before he reaches 100 years old.

She is best friends with her roommate, Frances Jones..

“Wherever one goes the other wants to follow. They are like sisters together,” social-services director Kathy Sliter said.

“Everyone here loves her. She gets along with everyone,” Sliter said.

Buchanan enjoys watching Westerns and playing the game of Bingo.