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Beyond Centennial: Baltimore Woman Celebrates 106th Birthday

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Lavinia Smith
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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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EDGEWOOD, Md. (WJZ)—It’s not every day someone turns 106 years old, but that’s what’s happening in Edgewood on Wednesday.

Ron Matz has more on one woman’s amazing life, her family and friends and the big celebration.

Lavinia Smith is celebrating her birthday. It’s not just any birthday. She’s 106 years young. So what’s her secret?

“I go to church every Sunday,” Smith said. “I love church, and I like good preaching. My preacher is Reverend Jackson at Gillis Memorial.”

That’s where she met the mayor. She’s been honored by the state of Maryland and Harford County. And she’s even received a letter from President Barack Obama.

Smith was born in Summerton, S.C. in 1906.

“I remember the wars, and me and my brothers would go down and see the soldiers going off on the train in South Carolina,” Smith recalled.

“I never thought she would live to 106 years old,” said Ronda Robin Taylor, Smith’s granddaughter. “She’s amazing. She keeps me on my toes. I enjoy seeing her when I come home from work. She’s one of my best friends.”

Her favorite things today include cake, flowers and the love of her family.

“I’m having company in and having some good food to eat,” Smith said. “Good friends will be here, and my family will be around me.”

Smith has three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She worked as a nursing assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital for more than 30 years before retiring.

“She retired from there in the early 70s,” Taylor said. “She had her 100th birthday at Hopkins.”

Her family has a big party planned for Saturday.

Smith says she plans to attend services at Gillis Memorial Church on Sunday just as she does every week.

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