‘It sure beats not making it’: Woman celebrates 100th birthday in Tyler

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — A woman was honored for her 100th birthday on Tuesday in Tyler.

Hamptons Senior Living staff honored Susie Brouse with a 100th birthday party. She wore a birthday crown and a sash that said “100 & Fabulous.”

There were live performances with her favorite music and the UT Tyler Patriots mascot and a cheerleader stopped by to join in on the party.

“If I knew it was going to be this much fun, I would’ve done it sooner,” Susie said of turning 100.

She said she always expected to make it to 100-years-old.

“It sure beats not making it,” said Susie.

Susie graduated from Elyria High School in Elyria, Ohio, and received a nursing degree from Elyria Memorial Hospital. She worked as an OB/GYN charge nurse during World War II. She married her husband Jack Brouse on February 14, 1946, and they had four children: Judy Riddle, Dan Brouse, Chrissie Pickett, and Leigh Ann Brooks. She has nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren. 

She said that the births of her four children were the greatest accomplishment of her life. There are five generations of her family currently living.

Susie and Jack were married for almost 70 years before his death.

“We were married 69 years and four days and the last thing we said to each other was ‘I love you,'” she said. “He had such a magnetic personality.”

Her advice for longevity was to “just keep breathing.”

“I would have done beer a day, I call it my 5 o’clock beer… one beer a day, never any more. I knew that if you never had more than one beer, you weren’t going to get in trouble,” Susie said.

Susie’s granddaughter said that she thinks what has kept Susie living 100 years is her “zest for life.”

She told KETK that she spent a lot of time with her grandparents who had a farm and they always had milk, so she got “good strong bones.”

When recalling the Great Depression, she said that she was young but she knew what was going on. She added that she never really suffered like some people that didn’t have anything to eat because they had a garden and her grandmother canned.

Susie moved to Texas in 1955. She served on the board of directors for the Arlington Texas YMCA and held various leadership positions including being on the board of directors for the Circle T Girl Scout Council in Fort Worth.

She received the “THANKS” badge from the Circle T Girl Scout Council. It is the highest award in the Girl Scouts.

The Hamptons staff said that Susie flew many miles in a private airplane with her husband and helped with the navigation and calculated fuel usage to know when to switch tanks. She was part of several clubs that involved flying including the Short Wing Piper Association, OX5 which was a National Organization and Marine Squadron 422. She also organized the Antique Airplane Association`s monthly meetings. 

“If you were to ask me what’s the greatest thing, well of course family is the greatest thing, the second thing are friends, I’ve always had wonderful, wonderful friends and my family meant a lot to me,” said Susie.

She and her husband had friends that came to visit them from all over the world. Susie enjoyed entertaining at her home before she moved to The Hamptons Assisted Living, she always cooked and hosted guests, the Hamptons staff said.

“I feel honored, very very honored and I just hope every one of you in this room gets to experience being 100 and having a big party!