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St. Louis woman celebrates 108th birthday

Happy birthday, Opie!

KIRKWOOD, Mo. — A St. Louis area woman celebrated her 108th birthday on Wednesday.

Opal Otis, also known as Opie, is a resident at the Bethesda Gardens Independent Living Retirement Community in Kirkwood. 

Her loved ones held a parade in celebration of her special day! Opie was seated along the sidewalk as her family and friends attended. Photos show her loved ones wearing face masks and holding up signs to celebrate her special day.

Credit: Bethesda Gardens

5 On Your Side was at Opie's 107th birthday party in 2019. 

When she was 20 years old, she ran her own beauty shop with her mom. Up until just a few years ago, Opie taught people to dance. She’s shared her love of dance with thousands. Opie has even taught the residents at Bethesda to line dance.  

For more than four decades, Opie and her husband danced and taught others the varieties of their craft, including square dance and rounds, ballroom, fox trot, swing, tango and country-western styles. Their students performed at a wide range of venues: charity balls, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and even ocean cruises.

Opal also organized and directed two special Girl Scout dance performances—one at Busch Stadium and the other at the old Arena. Both performances involved months of practice with scouts from troops across the region.  

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