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AT 105, SHE'S HAVING FUN AS A PARTY GIRL.

Byline: MARK KELLAM

valleynews.com

Edith Hooper turned 105 on Wednesday in grand style.

First, a party was held Sunday at Sherman Oaks Methodist Church, where she's been a member for 56 years. Then, the morning of her birthday, the Sherman Oaks Woman's Club held a bash.

In the afternoon, all of her friends at the Gardens at Lake Balboa -- where she's lived since 2001 -- threw her a party.

Still sharp as a tack, Hooper shared the secret to her longevity: "I say, 'clean living,' but then people say, 'Well, that's no fun,'" she said, laughing.

"I eat a lot of fruit; maybe that's it."

She also does a crossword puzzle every day and occasionally plays bridge to keep her mind active.

Hooper, who was born in Baltimore, Md., has been married twice. She and her first husband, Bryant Cratty, moved to North Hollywood in 1929.

After a few years, they moved back to Baltimore.

"But after one winter there, my husband said, 'No more' and we moved back to California," she said. This time, they moved to Sherman Oaks.

Edith and Bryant had three children -- Jack and Jim, and a daughter, Pat.

Edith Hooper worked from 1948 to 1952 selling handbags at The Broadway, a department store at Hollywood and Vine for many years.

She then worked at Technicolor until 1967 as a secretary to a color correctionist. She would be at work every day at 5:30 a.m. to make sure the movie "dailies" were ready for directors to review.

Her boss would joke about her age -- she was in her mid-60s at the time.

"He would say I was a waitress at the Last Supper," Hooper said, with a chuckle.

Her first husband died in 1960. At age 81, Edith married Henry Hooper.

"We were married at my son Jack's home in Bel-Air," she said, recalling it was one of the most memorable days in her life.

"And we honeymooned in Malibu."

Church is a big part of Hooper's life. "They pick me up in the church van every Sunday," she said.

At her party at the Sherman Oaks Woman's Club, the entertainment included Robert Galbreath, a singer in her church choir.

"He sang 'How Great Thou Art.' That was my treat," Hooper said. "It was so beautiful. He has a God-given voice."

For now, Edith enjoys her friends and family. She has five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

And she takes things one day at a time, jokingly telling friends, "When you sing 'Happy Birthday,' don't sing 'and many more' at the end."

When asked what she's been doing since turning 100, Edith smiled and lifted her hands in the air: "Just having fun."

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Edith Hooper is all dressed up for a party at the Gardens at Lake Balboa to celebrate her 105th birthday.

Mark Kellam/valleynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 21, 2007
Words:476
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