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Lillian Mickelson celebrates her 102nd birthday with neighbor, family and friends

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL-PACHECO - Lillian Mickelson, left, poses for a photo with her friend and neighbor, Don Shimer, at Ichabods Resturaunt on May 17. Mickelson celebrated her 102nd birthday last week. Shimer, who is in his 80s, takes Mickelson out for her birthday every year.The secret to long life may be elusive, but if you ask Lillian Mickelson of St. Helens, maintaining good health and keeping a positive mind are definitely helpful.

On Thursday, May 17, Mickelson celebrated her 102nd birthday with a special dinner at Ichabod's Restaurant in Scappoose.

Every year, Mickelson's neighbor and longtime friend, Don Shimer, takes her out for a meal on her birthday — and this year was no exception. The two dined at the restaurant Thursday afternoon.

Mickelson, who still lives independently at her home in St. Helens, celebrated her birthday in style, wearing a bright pink shirt bearing the words "Young at Heart at 102," which was a gift from her neighbors who had it custom made for her, Shimer said.

The Spotlight featured Mickelson on her 100th birthday in 2016 when she joined the centenarian ranks. Reflecting back, Mickelson said reaching the age of 102 doesn't feel much different.

"You know, I've always enjoyed such good health. Sometimes I think, one day ago, a year ago, it isn't much different from today."

Mickelson celebrated her birthday with family and friends last weekend with a party at First Lutheran Church.

Mickelson said she's often wondered how she has managed to outlive her seven siblings and one of her children. Her daughter lives in Sisters, and the two keep in touch by email.

"I wonder myself at times because I was one of eight children, next to the youngest, and the rest are gone," Mickelson said. "I've always had good health and I preach the power of positive thinking."

Mickelson said that while a positive attitude may not be the only factor in her longevity, it's something she strongly believes has always helped her in life.

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