Though Mary Zimmerman recently celebrated her 100th birthday, she still uses her walker as more of a purse than for support.

“She doesn’t need it. She just has all her treasures in the seat,” daughter-in-law Diane Zimmerman said.

“It’s the equivalent of a fanny pack,” added great-grandson Hunter Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s doing great, according to her family and friends, and lived independently at her home in Friendly Valley until around six months ago when she moved to Oakmont of Valencia.

“She is really ‘with it’ and quite a character,” Diane said, adding that Zimmerman keeps up to date on current events. “She really knows what she’s talking about… She’s an inspiration.”

“It feels good. I can’t believe it,” Zimmerman said of the milestone birthday.

Zimmerman, who said she loves to read, jokingly said she’s read the Oakmont’s Daily Chronicle before she gets from the front door back to her bedroom before breakfast every morning.

Zimmerman’s got a sense of humor, according to Hunter, who recalled sleepovers at her home with his cousins, which they always looked forward to.

Though Zimmerman didn’t think she’d make it past age 40, “because in my younger days, 35-40 was just about the average,” she said, she’s outlived her husband, both her children and most of her friends.

In her 100 years, Zimmerman had two sons, five grandchildren and at least 13 great-grandchildren, though she’s lost count.

Living at Oakmont has been a big adjustment, but Zimmerman has made fast friends, which friend Julie Hekkers can attest to from her visits.

“Everyone associates you with Mary,” Hekkers said, noting that this results in them informing her of where Zimmerman is when she visits. “It’s really cute to see (them) saying, ‘Oh, hi. Are you going to go see Mary?’”

“I’ve made some of the most beautiful friends,” Zimmerman added.

Zimmerman was born in Texas and moved to California at 19, which was a big change of pace for her from the Texas deserts, she said.

“I love the flowers and the trees, the scenery… I love the people,” Zimmerman said of California, adding that it’s brought her lots of joy living here. “Once I crossed the border from Texas to California, I said, ‘There’s no way I’m going back.’”

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