It might have been “just another day” to Mary Cotter. But it was very special to her friends at the Montclair Senior Center.
In celebration of her 103rd birthday – and the 25 years she’s been a hard-working volunteer there – they gave her a costume that says it all. To them, Mary is “Wonder Woman” – in every way, a superhero.
The center’s staff and patrons presented her with a cake, and – true to form – she sliced it only after she had served coffee and tea to her fellow seniors. “They call me the ‘barmaid’, she laughs. It’s because she does the same thing every day she’s there.
When asked about her secret to longevity, she answered, “Just keep busy, I guess.” And that she does.
Mary still lives on her own, and she drives to the Montclair, California facility five days a week to spend time with the residents, most of whom are younger than she is.
But she’s always lived life to the fullest. In the 1930s, she helped her high school win the state swim championship. In her 60s, she was teaching children to swim. Still going strong after 80 years, she took on yet another role: helping to rescue sea turtles.
While those who surround her marvel at her stamina, Cotter is unfazed by her advanced age.
“I don’t know…just another day went by,” she said.
Dressed in a Wonder Woman T-shirt, a golden crown and a scarlet cape, Mary Cotter went on about her business as usual: making sure that everyone around her was taken care of.
The video of her birthday party had over 250,000 views after it was posted on KABC-TV’s Facebook page earlier this week.
“Proof that real super heroes walk among us,” one woman commented. Colleague Lupe Navarrete wrote: “I love this lady!! I work with Mary at the volunteer center. She has more energy than most of us younger folks!! Always smiling and hugs us when we walk in! Super woman she is!!”
And you can bet that after the hoopla died down, the candles were blown out and the Wonder Woman costume was folded and put away, she went right back to doing what she does best – helping others.