(DANVILLE, Va.) — Avicia Thorpe is a “star” in her community.
The former educator, who began teaching in segregated Virginia schools in 1933, celebrated her 110th birthday on April 16 to much fanfare.
Along with her fellow residents of Stratford Rehabilitation Center in Danville, Virginia, Danville Mayor John Gilstrap and Vice Mayor Alonzo Jones attended the celebration along with her family and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters, activities director Kim Holley told ABC News.
In between writing poems, some of which she read at her birthday party, Thorpe has learned a lot in her long life. And in fact, the former pastor’s wife said she indeed believes in a heaven.
“I’m ready at any time when the Lord is ready to call me home,” Thorpe told ABC News when asked what she’s most looking forward to in this new decade of life.
“God has placed me here for a purpose and my purpose has been accomplished,” she continued. “I’m still trusting in his divine guidance, but I’m ready anytime.”
Thorpe, who taught high school English for 33 years before retiring, said that if she can help someone then “I shall not be in vain.”
“I’ve seen and heard from people, and strangers, and my former students — I stopped teaching 50 years ago and I still hear from my former students — so I feel that I have accomplished that goal,” she said.
When asked the secret to living a long life, Thorpe said she’s “just been careful” about what she eats and drinks. But she mostly credits her faith.
“Always trust in God. He should always be number one,” she said.
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.