It's noteworthy when anyone reaches the age of 100, but when that individual still does her own yard work, cleans her own house, and regularly walks 2 to 3 miles a day, that milestone becomes truly remarkable.
Marcella "Marcy" Boss doesn't look -- or feel -- her age, but it's true. She turns 100 on Nov. 15.
"She's strong and determined," said her daughter, Gerry Wareham. "She doesn't sit around whining and feeling sorry for herself. She is totally independent. Even though we're always ready to help, she takes care of her house and her yard."
"That's what keeps me going," Marcy said. Her advice for a long and healthy life: "Use it or lose it."
She was born in Springfield, Ill., and turned into a real tomboy as she tried to keep up with her three brothers. "I'd do anything they did so they'd play with me," she said.
Her father, who immigrated from Italy, moved his family often in search of better job opportunities. Growing up, Marcy lived in Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. She graduated from high school in Gallup, N.M., where her father worked as a coal miner. They lived outside of town, which meant a one-mile walk to the bus stop, then a five-mile bus ride to and from school. That didn't leave a lot of time for extracurricular activities, but at home she frequently played baseball and basketball with her brothers.
While she was surrounded by people who still spoke Italian, Marcy said her father would not allow his children to speak anything but English.
After she graduated from high school, her family moved to Somerset. She met her future husband, Tony Boss, a mine mechanic and electrician, at a company picnic in Paonia. They moved to Paonia and welcomed a daughter, their only child. Marcy recalls days filled with home improvement projects, school activities and travel. She and Tony suited each other well -- both liked to keep busy.
When Tony retired 53 years ago, they moved to Delta, to the house on Grand Avenue where Marcy still resides.
Although she's been widowed for 34 years, Marcy says she doesn't have time to feel lonely. She has a host of friends (all younger, of course) and is always ready to drop whatever she's doing and join them for an impromptu outing or shopping trip. She doesn't drive any longer, so if she needs just one or two things from the grocery store, she just "trots down to City Market."
She is active in St. Michael's Church, reads a great deal and is often seen walking through the surrounding neighborhood. She loves being around people, so she goes to the senior center for lunch a couple of times a week. She admits to one vice -- a sweet tooth -- but still weighs under a hundred pounds.
Marcy has just one complaint: She wants to be like everyone else. She doesn't look or feel like she's 100, and she doesn't want to be treated like that, either. Still, one of her favorite great-grandsons is planning a big celebration for her birthday. The guest list will include her one living grandchild, four great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. One grandchild is deceased.
Her three brothers, including two younger, are also deceased.
"I outlived my family," she said. "I don't know what happened ... I guess I've just been too busy."