Concha Montanez owns a pleasant smile that suggests life has been good — all 100 years of it.
She celebrated her landmark 100th birthday on Dec. 8 Cherokee Rose Nursing and Rehabilitation in Glen Rose, where she has been a resident the past 14 years.
Danielle Whitlock, marketer and admissions coordinator for Cherokee Rose, mentioned that Montanez is often heard saying after waking up, “We made it — we made it another day.”
She certainly has plenty of children to be thankful for — having had nine in all. Six were boys and three were girls.
Cherokee Rose staff members threw a birthday party for Montanez, complete with balloons and a cake.
“I had a lot of things for my birthday,” Montanez said. “I got a lot of flowers. That was good. I had a nice birthday. It was pretty good. Another year.”
Whitlock said, “Concha had the very best day filled with love from her family and friends. We are very blessed to have such a kindhearted lady as a part of our Cherokee Rose family. She has shared many memories and touched many lives here and in her century of life on this Earth.”
Montanez enjoys crocheting, dominoes, bingo and visiting with family members.
Apparently, the word going around Cherokee Rose is that anyone taking on Concha in dominoes should prepare to lose.
“I play (dominoes) every day,” she said. “I enjoy it. I like to win. It’s a lot of fun to win.”
Montanez said she had a set of twin sisters, along with five brothers.
She said her mother used to tell the kids she wanted them to stay inside the house and crochet so they would stay out of trouble. Even her brothers learned the art of crocheting. She said her favorite thing to make is a baby blanket.
Montanez was born in Mexico and moved to Texas with her family when she was about 2 months old.
She attended school in Venus, and moved to Joshua when she was 18. She was a housewife for years, then went to work as a cook for the Joshua school system.
Concha has been a widow for about 35 years, according to one of her daughters, Cecilia Gable of Fort Worth. Her husband, also originally from Mexico, had a lengthy career working for Lone Star Gas.
Gable said that the family staged their own birthday party for Concha, Saturday in Fort Worth. She said that about 100 family members and friends showed up — and the number was not lost on Montanez. She noted that there was about a one-to-one ratio of people in attendance — equalling the number of years she has been alive, since 1917.
“Lots of years. I’ve been here for a long time,” Montanez said.