A century and then some

Published 1:31 pm Friday, May 9, 2014

She may be the oldest person in Lawrence County.

Jo-Lin resident and Ironton native Ginny Sturgill turned 105 on Thursday and a birthday party attended by friends, family and Jo-Lin staff took place to commemorate the occasion.

“She’s only lived here at Jo-Lin for about a year,” Sturgill’s first cousin, Fern Wagner, 87, said. “She lived down on Fourth Street most of her life.”

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Born May 8, 1909, Sturgill never married, had no children and was employed for most of her working days at Staley’s.

Until moving to Jo-Lin, Sturgill’s neighbors took on the role of looking out for her.

“We just always checked on her and visited her,” Betty Butler, one of Sturgill’s neighbors, said.

It turns out Sturgill’s secret to longevity is in fact not so secret.

“She eats very healthy food,” Butler said. “She drinks a lot of milk, loves ice cream though, likes chicken salad on wheat bread and she has never drunk alcohol or smoked.”

Another one of Sturgill’s first cousins, Laverne Bensinger, 85, was also at the celebration. Bensinger said Sturgill’s longevity can also be attributed to genetics.

“We had an uncle who lived to be 105,” she said. “That’s just how it is in our family it seems.”