A Resident from The Heights of Gonzales turns 107

By: Sky Chadde | Victorian Advocate

GONZALES – Years ago, Fannie Mae Miller would sneak away from her parents’ house in Elm Grove, a small farming community near Houston.

“I’d slip off sometimes,” said Miller, who now lives in a Gonzales retirement home, “but not too many times.”

She’d head up the road to her married older sister’s house – where she’d engage in an activity her parents forbade.

“I would dance,” she said Friday with a smile, “and my momma wouldn’t know anything about it.”

Miller turns 107 on Saturday, celebrating with a half-chocolate, half-vanilla cake.

Though visitors must shout to be heard, Miller is still as sharp now as she was when she used to slip off to dance, those around her said.

“She’s extremely independent,” said Harold Cobler, whose mother also lives in The Heights of Gonzales nursing home and often lunches with Miller. “Her mind is like a teenager’s.”

Miller said she’d always been that way.

“I tried to do for myself,” she said.

A housewife who moved to Waelder in 1964 with her husband, Miller said she moved into the nursing home five years ago after she hurt her pelvis. Only recently did she accept a wheelchair.

A San Antonio Spurs calendar and a poster of their center, Tim Duncan, decorate the walls of her small room. During the NBA playoffs, Cobler said, Miller will stay up till 11 or even midnight watching the end of games.

“When I first saw them,” Miller said about her Spurs fandom, “I thought they were a good bunch of men.”

Underneath her room’s TV set – which doesn’t have sound; “I couldn’t hear too much anyway,” she said – is a dresser. In the bottom drawer, she keeps crossword puzzles to pass the time and a beaten copy of “Full Circle,” a novel by her favorite author Danielle Steel.

Miller said she doesn’t know why she’s lived so long.

“I didn’t have anything to do with it,” she said, then she pointed to ceiling. “I think the man up there is why I’m living.”