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Tempe woman celebrates 100th birthday

Rita Seaman stays active in her golden years by swimming and tap dancing.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Imagine living to be 100 years old, with all the things you’ve witnessed in your time and the inventions that have come and gone.

Friends and family celebrated Rita Seaman’s 100th birthday at the Kiwanis Pool in Tempe on Wednesday.

Seaman has a smile that can light up a room.

“I think she’s amazing. She never looks back. She always looks forward,” said Marie Martinez, Seaman’s daughter.

The positive woman who grew up in Nebraska is as sharp as a tack. Seaman has come a long way in one hundred years.

“Grew up in the roaring twenties. Grew up in the horse and buggy age,” said Seaman, with a smile. “I lived through the [Great] Depression, and we had our big dust storm in Nebraska.”

She raised six kids and has remained active in her golden years. Before the pandemic, she was swimming five days a week at the Kiwanis pool in Tempe and tap dancing.

Her teacher Marie Campi said Seaman never misses a beat.

“She remembers every step. She knows the sequence and she puts it to the music and she dances,” said Campi.

“I just live,” said Seaman, laughingly.

What’s this centenarian’s advice for all of us, youngsters.

“Be happy and don’t take things too seriously and be optimistic,” said Seaman.

The longevity gene is strong in Seaman’s family. Her two older sisters lived to be 102 and 101 and her younger sister is already 95.