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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Two Rolla residents celebrate 99th birthdays

  • Rolla residents Minerva Antal and Dora Wylie have celebrated quite a few Christmases, New Year's Days and birthdays throughout their lives ... almost a centuries worth.
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  • Rolla residents Minerva Antal and Dora Wylie have celebrated quite a few Christmases, New Year's Days and birthdays throughout their lives ... almost a centuries worth.
    The two residents were the guests of honor on Friday, Dec. 20, at Connie Hall's place at Park Meadows Senior Apartments on Aldi Drive. About a dozen ladies came by for cake and ice cream and the chance to learn the secrets to the Fountain of Youth.
    Antal is the older of the two. She was born on Dec. 26, 1914, in Pennsylvania. Wylie was born three weeks later on Jan. 10, 1915, in Connecticut.
    "If someone had told me when I was younger that I was going to live this long, I would have said, 'I don't think so,' " said Wylie with a giggle. "But I am so thankful. I've had a great life."
    She credits her German and Italian heritage as part of her secret to longevity. Her German grandfather lived to be 91. She is the oldest of seven siblings. She and her first husband had a son and two daughters. She is living here in Rolla to be near her daughters.
    "Now, it is not all that unusual to be this old," noted Wylie. "It all depends on what you do with your time and energy."
    She spent her time on the dance floor. Ballroom dancing and square dancing were her passions. In fact, square dancing is how she was introduced to her second husband.
    After her first husband died, she explained that she had no intention of re-marrying.
    "The last thing I wanted to do was get married at age 71," she said. "I was having a good time. But there was something about Tom. He was the sweetest man."
    Tom needed a square dance partner and Wylie came to the rescue. He swept her off her feet.
    "Within two weeks of meeting, people were telling us we were more than square dance partners. We took things slow and were married a few years later."
    Tom died in 2000 from Parkinson's disease.
    In looking back, Wylie is also grateful for the chance to travel around the world. She has been through four passports. Among her more memorable jaunts was her trip to Egypt where she saw the pyramids and the Sphinx.
    While Antal is older, she admits she's the quieter of the two. She is a self-confessed homebody who was only married once; that was to a clergyman.
    The two raised three girls. She landed in Rolla to be near her daughter who lives in Edgar Springs.
    "The only thing that I can think of that has kept me around this long is walking and visiting people," she said.
    She added that family is important to her; or rather, she is very important to her family.
    Page 2 of 2 - "My family is always watching out for me. I have everybody in my family telling me what to do or bossing me around," she noted.
    Despite their personality differences, the two, who are almost centurions, admit they have become the closest of friends."
    "We are the best of friends," Wylie stated with a grin. "It's because we have at least one thing in common these days. We are certainly tired all the time."

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