Ellis Wilcox of Laurie celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family at Westlake Christian Church in Laurie Sunday, July 21. He officially hit the century mark on July 23.
Ellis grew up in northern Missouri in Mercer County near Princeton during the Great Depression — a time when "nobody had any money," he says.
He and two brothers and a sister went to a one-room school house where one teacher taught eight grades. They walked 1 3/4 miles to get there.
As an adult, Ellis lived and worked as a farmer mostly growing corn and soybeans and hay for his cow herd.
Over the years, he served his community. Ellis was chairman of the board of directors for Production Credit for 15 years and has served on school and church boards over the years as well.
He has two daughters and son-in-laws as well as a stepdaughter and son-in-law.
Ellis and wife Lorene, 98, have been married for 56 years, and he credits her care over the years for his longevity.
Ellis retired in 1980. At that time, he and Lorene decided to move to the Lake of the Ozarks where they had spent many weekends and vacations.
While they have since moved off the lake, they used to love fishing and boating on the Lake of the Ozarks. Now, Ellis enjoys playing dominoes and cards.
He and wife Lorene live in Laurie.
"We pretty well take care of ourselves," Ellis says. "I've had a good life."