WORLAND (WNE) — Worland resident Dolores Arps, known as Dee to her friends, will turn 104 years young on Monday, Sept. 6 or maybe Tuesday, Sept. 7.
She was born in Dodge, Nebraska, on Sept. 6, 1917, at least that is when she has always celebrated her birthday. However, Dee explains that her birth certificate actually lists Sept. 7, 1917, as her official birth date.
“We grew up during the Depression and it was a terrible Depression. We went six years without a crop,” Arps said.
She began working for neighbors when she was 13 to 14 years old. The money she earned went to material for her mother to make the children’s clothes.
Arps also remembers as a child how excited she was when her mother got the right to vote and was able to vote in her first election.
At age 18, Dee went to work for a family in Omaha, Nebraska, noting that until 21 her paycheck went to the family because women were not able to get a paycheck until they turned 21.
Dee and her husband Leonard owned Arps Heating and Plumbing and Appliances stores in Worland and in Greybull and the East Drive-In liquor store in Worland.
“I’ve lived to see both of my children celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and that’s unusual,” Arps said.
Dee has been able to stay independent and is in good health, except for macular degeneration and arm injuries due to falls.
“My blood pressure is normal. My heart is good, my lungs are good. If I could just keep my feet on the floor,” she said.
She attributes her longevity to hard work and a love of life.