On April 24, 1913, a 3-pound baby girl was born in Cambria Mills, Mich. The doctor gave her no chance of living and didn’t even take the time to record the birth. One hundred years later, all Ethel Honeycutt can do is laugh.
“I wish I could see that doctor now,” she says with a smile.
Honeycutt, who has met all 45 of her great-grandchildren and most of her 67 great-great-grandchildren, lives in Highlands Ranch with her son Bob, and also spends a lot of time with her granddaughter, Diana Giblette, in Elizabeth. After celebrating her 100th with about 30 close friends and family members in Colorado, she plans to fly to Texas to stay with her other son, John, for a few months.
Honeycutt, who recalls taking her first airplane ride in the late 1930s, looks forward to seeing all of the “great-greats” she has yet to meet at a second party in Texas, where close to 200 attendees are expected.
“It’s the greatest feeling to have a little child come up and touch you,” she said. “One reason I have lived as long as I have is because of the children. They keep you young.”
Honeycutt, a devout Mormon, holds nothing closer to her heart than her family, and says she has been blessed to have had them surround her most of her days. Ethel’s husband — also born April 24, 1913 — died in 1985, and she has spent the past 28 years living with or close to her two sons.
“He’s waiting for her, but we’re not going to let him have her for a while,” Bob said.
Her family took her to Hawaii last year for an early 100th birthday celebration, and plans call for a Tahiti trip when she hits 110. Esther has traveled the world in her lifetime, visiting Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and England among other locales.
She has lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. She saw Frank Sinatra and Liberace back when the Las Vegas strip had just two hotels, and she lived in North Hollywood before it was North Hollywood.
“I remember horse-and-buggy days,” she says. “My father would take the wheels off the buggy and put runners on to make a sleigh and we’d go to grandmother’s house.”
When she was 10, her family moved from Michigan to California, taking five weeks to crisscross the country on dirt roads in a Ford automobile. She later met her husband in California and they moved to Las Vegas in 1929, then to his native Texas in 1961.
Asked if she had any advice for today’s youth, she said, “Every generation has had something to worry about. Ours is a little more violent. Just pray and stay positive. I know Heavenly Father will watch over us if we just give Him a chance.
And if you get angry?
“Just count to 10,” she said. “You won’t say what you wanted to.”