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Eat chocolate, stay single, live to 104

Community: Centenarian credits part of longevity to positive outlook

Posted: February 3, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: February 3, 2011 6:00 a.m.

One of the secrets to her longevity, she said, is having a positive outlook — and being a bachelorette. The only constant in her diet was chocolate.

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Santa Clarita resident Marie Barnett celebrated her 104th birthday last week.

“I don’t feel like I’m 104 years old,” Barnett said. “I still feel like I’m in my 70s.”

Barnett never smoked or abused alcohol. However, she said she never worried too much about her health.

“I never followed a diet. When I was small, my mother made me eat greens, but I don’t like vegetables and fruits.”

Barnett said that the only thing that is always present in her diet is chocolate.

One of the secrets to her longevity, she said, is having a positive outlook — and being a bachelorette.

“Stay single as long as you can,” Barnett advised.

She married her husband in 1950, when she was 44. He died in 1977.

“I didn’t want to remarry,” she said. “I never liked cooking, and I didn’t have to keep the house clean anymore.”
Barnett, who lives in the assisted-living home Pacific Senior Living, mostly takes care of herself.

Until the age of 98, Barnett was a hospital volunteer.

“She likes to help others,” her caregiver Julie Latier said. “She is very sweet and helpful.”

Barnett remembers life before automobiles. She appreciates most of the changes she’s seen over the years, like women’s liberation.

But Barnett said some things have gotten worse.

Barnett doesn’t like the state of modern politics or programming on TV.

Overall, though, she’s happy.

“I like life,” Barnett said. “I always go with everything I’ve got.”

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