WORTHINGTON — For Lecil Arends, every birthday she celebrates marks a new milestone for her and her family.

Turning 105 years old, after all, is a special accomplishment reserved for a select few. So what does Lecil credit for her remarkable longevity?

“Faith,” she said during an interview in her Ecumen Meadows apartment earlier this week. “And my kids.”

Lecil, a resident at the Meadows since July 2008, is a lifetime resident of southwest Minnesota. She was born April 24, 1914 on her parents’ farm north of Wilmont, the daughter of Peter and Rosa (Noyes) Smith.

“My folks came here from Missouri with a covered wagon,” she remembered. They had their son, Mirl, with them when they came. Later, they had Eunice, Eleanor, Ella, me, Woodrow and Zel.”

As was the case with most rural residents during her youth, Lecil grew up without many modern conveniences, such as indoor plumbing. Her father had a motor in the basement that generated their electricity.

Lecil went to a country school a little more than a half-mile from her folks’ place and stopped attending following the eighth grade. She worked on the farm —on which her nephew and his sons still farm today — and before long began a new life…..

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