Story Feature

By Robin Dake, activity director


In celebration of National Centenarians Day (Sept. 22, 2019), we would like to honor our lovely Eva Rivas.


Rivas was born in Key West in the summer of 1918 and is 101 years old. She lived with her father and two brothers and has fond memories of fishing, sports, swimming and adventurous boating trips with her family. Even while her father struggled to provide through the Great Depression, her memories are of friends, family and helping each other.


Rivas talks about her father with great pride as she remembers how hard he worked as a baker in the community, and even though times were tough, they helped others as well. Her father managed to keep her in the Catholic school (Convent of Mary Immaculate) she so deeply enjoyed attending by baking bread for the school daily and making sure the children always had something to eat. He set a fine example of the kind of person she wanted to be.


When Rivas was 16, she graduated, and not long after, she met her husband, John. She worked as a secretary for a Navy commanding officer, and John also worked on base. Meeting John “was the happiest moment in my life,” she stated.


They had two children, one boy and one girl, “the perfect family,” she said.


Rivas continued to have strong faith and attended church regularly with her family. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts, private clubs and the church for years, fundraising and collecting food and holiday toys for the less fortunate. Helping those less fortunate was a passion for her. She remembered how hard things were during the Depression.


When asked how she would define a successful life, she responded, “Having family and people who love me, knowing that I helped others any way I could, spent time with family and friends and lived life to the fullest, and most of all be happy!”


Her advice to the world is that God gave us this beautiful world, and we should appreciate it. Also to have strong faith in God, never be idle, keep on going, find something you are passionate about and love your family and friends because time goes too fast.