DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Halloween may be a scary time of year, but for one Decatur woman, she isn’t scared at all. Instead, she is preparing to celebrate a huge milestone on the holiday.
Kathlyn Carroll will turn 100 years old on Halloween.
“The Lord has blessed me with me with good health, a wonderful loving family and many wonderful friends and music,” Carroll said. “Living this long has given me wonderful memories and opportunities in life over the years.”
Lisa Underwood, of Decatur, became friends with Carroll in 1997. Kathlyn and her husband Glenn began attending the same church as Underwood, and they became instant friends.
Soon after their meeting, Lisa and her husband were invited to dinner at Carroll’s house, where Underwood noticed a large organ in the living room and asked who played it.
Carroll was reluctant to play. She said, “They wouldn’t want to hear me play.”
At her husband’s request, Carroll first played “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael, then continued on with 5-6 more songs that evening, all by memory. Before long, Underwood and her husband convinced Carroll to play at their church.
She has been doing so ever since.
“My favorite memories with Kathlyn are listening to her play the piano, whether at church services or the many nursing homes she also has played,” Underwood said. “She really is a blessing to everyone who is privileged to know her.”
When not warming the hearts of others with her music, Carroll still keeps busy with a wide range of activities. These include driving to the grocery store on her own, remaining active in many community organizations like Snuggies for the Soul and spending time with friends and family.
Remarkably, Carroll does not use any mobility assistance such as a cane or a wheelchair.
Underwood said she is proud to have Carroll in her life.
“What I enjoy most about Kathlyn is her sweet, quiet spirit,” Underwood said. “She is always happy and never has a bad word to say about anyone. She always looks on the bright side and sees the best in everyone she meets.”
To some people, reaching triple digits in age is a great achievement, but it never crossed Carroll’s mind.
“I never really thought about it,” Carroll said. “I am too busy living one day at a time. I am counting my blessings.”
Carroll plans to spend her birthday with friends and family.