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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Indiana woman celebrates 109th birthday; recalls similarities in two pandemics

Few people can claim seeing all that Hazel Warner has experienced.

MOORESVILLE, Ind. — Hazel Warner, Mooresville, just celebrated her 109th birthday.

Few people can claim seeing all Hazel has seen: 70 years of marriage, three children, 19 grandkids and dozens of great and great-great grandchildren. 

Hazel drove a car until she was 100. She lived on her own until about six years ago.

We asked Hazel about her advice for today's young people.

“Keep moving,” replied the woman of few words. 

Hazel has kept moving through two world wars, the Great Depression and now two global pandemics. She was just seven years old when the 1918 flu pandemic broke out.

“I do remember her saying that there was so many deaths and it didn’t make any difference what your age was really, just like now,” said Mary Pringle, Hazel’s daughter. 

Before COVID-19 hit, Pringle visited her mom several times a week at Miller’s Merry Manor, the long-term care facility where Hazel lives in Mooresville. Now those visits only happen once a week and Pringle can’t even hug her mom. 

“It’s so hard on her and it’s so hard on all the residents,” said Pringle, adding that her mom understands what’s happening. 

“She knows there’s a pandemic, but that doesn’t make it any less dramatic for her,” Pringle said. 

Hazel still gets around for bingo and has a glass of wine every night before bed. 

“The doctor said at her age, she can do what she wants to,” said Pringle.

And she does. 

We asked Hazel about her favorite part of the day.

“Sleep,” Hazel answered, as her caregivers laughed. 

And it was at that point in our interview that Hazel cut things short.

“I wanna go to bed,” said Hazel. 

At 109, Hazel has certainly earned it.