Sun Health Grandview Care Center held a special birthday celebration today – a 105th birthday party for Eleanor “Elle” McGinnis, who was born July 10, 1908 in Chicago, Ill.

Elle was interviewed by CBS 5 to honor her special day.

She is the youngest of three daughters. Her last name was Jones. Her father, a Norwegian immigrant worked as a contractor. Her mother, a Swedish immigrant was a stay-at-home mom.

Elle and Edward (her future husband) were childhood sweethearts. Both graduated from Lake View High School in Chicago. During high school, Elle was a clothing model for Marshall Fields and other department stores in Chicago. After high school, she attended an art academy in the Windy City where she studied painting and sketching. Edward worked in the insurance business as a safety engineer.

She and Edward married in 1939. They adopted their daughter Merrie in 1948 who was a toddler at the time. The McGinnis family moved to the Osterhout Lake area near Grand Junction, Mich., in 1953. Elle used to write a community news column for one of the local papers.

Elle and Edward moved to Sun City West, Arizona in 1982 to retire. They both loved music and sang in the Westernaires Chorus of Sun City West and the Sundots, a local barbershop group. They also belonged to the Scandinavian Club. Edward passed away in 1998. The couple had been married for 59 years. Elle has two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Her daughter Merrie Wilson lives in Sacramento, Calif. Reminiscing about her mother Merrie said, “Mom was very prim and proper and elegant. She loved to entertain and was always very gracious.  She was a very talented painter who also dabbled in interior design.”

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