Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and world traveler Loretta Wilkins has lived in various parts of Oklahoma most of her life, which reached a century Thursday, Sept. 19.
Loretta explained she grew up in various parts of Oklahoma before settling in McLoud with her high school sweetheart and husband Clarence S. "Buddy" Wilkins in the 1940s.
"I've had quite an extensive life. When I got married Feb. 14, 1942...I lived on a farm just one mile north of where I live now," Loretta said.
The mother of three said shortly after they moved to their farm, Buddy was drafted into World War II.
"We didn't think the war would last that long...Lincoln County ran short of volunteers so they had to dip into the others and he was one of them and had to go," Loretta said. "Instead of three months like we thought it turned out to be three and a half years..."
While Buddy was gone, the 100-year-old explained she took care of and ran their 600-acre farm until he returned.
"He happened to be here on R&R...when the Treaty was signed in 1945," Loretta said.
After World War II, in 1945 Buddy and Loretta moved to a house a mile south from their farm and Loretta has lived there ever since.
She explained even though Buddy had returned, she continued doing farm work on their land while they were waiting to get official possession.
"I did whatever there was to do. I helped bail hay. I brought it to the house, put in the barn...I'd been exposed to it so it didn't bother me," Loretta said.
The great-grandmother said she and Buddy had three boys: Randy, Philip and Timothy.
She explained all three of her children were successful in their careers and two of them had families of their own, making Loretta a grandmother of four and a great-grandmother of five.
She said Buddy passed away in January of 1981.
Before retiring, Loretta said she taught Remedial Reading and was a substitute teacher to many students for 27 years.
She said between substituting she would do all of her traveling and though she's lived in the same state her whole life, Loretta explained she's traveled to six of the seven continents and visited nearly every major country in the world.
She's been to several different places including Alaska, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Morocco and several other countries.
"I've been to the Great Wall of China and I've been to the Barrier Reef too in Australia," Loretta said.
The 100-year-old said she's seen everything from the Vatican to the Eiffel Tower to Times Square.
"I usually went on tour...and I always did a lot of research when I was getting ready to go to any country...So I could at least recognize and understand what they were talking about...," Loretta said.
For Loretta, the best thing about traveling was all the real life adventures she had and the memories she made.
"I'm a history and geography nut anyhow and...I think that's why I've enjoyed life as much as I have because I've actually lived the experiences that I studied about and read in history...," Loretta said. "Its been a good life. I've worked awful awful hard but I played hard too..."