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Las Vegas valley woman celebrates 105 birthday

Posted at 6:27 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 10:16:53-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In 1915, the average cost of a house ran around $3,200, gas was 15 cents a gallon, the world was at war for the first time, and Phyllis Genovese was born in Harvey, Illinois.

On Jan. 15, 2020, she celebrated her 105 birthday in the Henderson Merrill Gardens nursing home.

"It was the most wonderful life," Phyllis said while sitting in a soft pink robe.

Her nephew Chuck Castle said Phyllis has lived an interesting life.

Castle said she worked through World War II as a police officer in Santa Monica, opened and ran a letter shop in the Pacific Palisades for 40 years, knew Ronald Reagan personally, and married for the first and only time at age 75.

"Can you imagine being born in the middle of World War I? Incredible," Castle said. "She went parasailing in Acapulco when she was 75 years old."

When recalling her life, Phyllis had a different interpretation of the journey.

"Nothing exciting," she said.

The staff at her nursing home know her as the woman with a perpetual smile who loves animals and continues to stay active.

When asked if she had the secret to immortality, she answered quickly.

"Secret? There's no secret. You just keep growing," she said.