Iowa great-great grandmother celebrates her 104th birthday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa great-great grandmother celebrates her 104th birthday

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SIBLEY- An Iowa great-great grandmother is celebrating her 104th birthday this week.

She's still going strong in Sibley.

As Zita Thiele grows another year older, her world keeps getting bigger. 

She has 48 great-grand children and six great-great grandchildren, with two more on the way. 

At 104, Zita lives on her own, and she is plenty busy. She plays cards with her friends every day, knits, bakes, reads, and loves a good crossword.

Zita was born in 1914 and hasn't slowed down ever since. She didn't retire until she was 82, and she drove until she was 100. She's seen society change with her.

"I grew up in the horse and buggy days," she says. "When we had those dust storms, that was terrible."

There is a price to pay when you live such a long life. Zita has outlived three of her seven children.

"And we've had a lot of tragic things as far as that goes in our family, but when you have a large family, you're going to have that stuff," Zita says. 

While Zita has enough family and stories to fill scrapbooks, she says the past is the past. 

"Whatever happens that day, no use in looking backwards," she says. 

Zita recommends surrounding yourself with a big family. She credits her good health to keeping her mind sharp, and says she doesn't eat after 4:30 p.m. 

Zita's family is already planning her 105th birthday celebration for next year. 

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