Doppler Dave experiences ‘inspirational’ birthday, celebrating 102 years of her life

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:56 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Birthday celebrations for people of all ages can be fun and entertaining events.

Some birthday tributes, however, are nothing short of inspirational.

Ora Mae Brownlee turned 102 this week, and lit up her party just like she has been doing her entire life which is quite a story in itself.

Born in 1919 and contracting a form of polio, she did not walk until she was 4-years-old. Later in her growing up years, she remembers tackling life and hard work with her family.

“I grew up in a two room house with six children, and we had to work in the fields growing up. That’s why we stayed out of trouble,” said Ora Mae.

“Food wasn’t always plentiful and they had to make due with a lot growing up because her grown up years were some hard times in our country,” said Liz Briscoe, Ora Mae’s daughter.

Ora Mae married in 1941, and later was expecting a child when her husband left for World War II. When he returned, that son was already more than 2 years old, as far as memorable changes she has seen in her lifetime, chocolate came up.

“We used to get a nickel bar of candy this size about like this, and we asked for pennies instead of dollars,” said Ora Mae.

Ora Mae considers herself an entertainer, starting what was called the happy hatters, a group that sang for and entertained nursing homes around our region.

Although that came late in life, she considers it reaching her lifelong dream.

“I finally reached my goal in life. When I was a child, I wanted to be a secretary or an entertainer, and that’s when I was 68 years old, I started the happy hatters,” said Ora Mae.

For more than a century, it is her happy spirit that is noticed by others.

“I have never really seen mother get mad or upset. She was always a mother that was always very calm at handling situations with us,” said Liz.

“She is still spunky and full of energy. She’s got a great attitude and she doesn’t moan and groan about having to go down and do anything. She’s a sweetheart, everybody loves her, and she’s somebody you’d want to be like. I want to be like her,” said Jan Flynt, activity director for Park Place Towers.

What I’ve gathered, for 102 years, Ora Mae has had a smile on her face.

Now that’s some good news!

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