‘She is always happy’: World War II veteran celebrates 102nd birthday on St. Patrick’s Day

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 12:21 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2023 at 12:48 PM CDT
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RED BLUFF, Calif. (KRCR) - A World War II veteran had two reasons to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day.

Hannah Engel joined the Marines on the day 81 years ago, and on Friday, she turned 102.

Engel was born in 1921 and she celebrated her 102nd birthday with her friends and staff at Lassen House Senior Living in California.

“I think everybody in this place was there,” Engel said.

According to Engel, she joined the Marines at 21 years old. She met her husband there and married him after six weeks of dating.

She said the two stayed together for 51 years and have five children - four boys and one girl, Judy Armstrong, who came from Georgia to celebrate her mother’s birthday.

“She’s so aware of everything around her, everything that’s going on, and she’s always happy,” Armstrong said.

Engel also shared her secret to living as long as she has.

“Just being thankful for being here. I had a wonderful mother and father and then a wonderful husband. So, I’ve been very, very fortunate all my life,” Engel said.

Armstrong said she will be returning to California in October for her 55th high school reunion, and her mother said she plans on being there, too.

“In October, we’ll make plans for turning 103,” Engel said.