There were more candles than cake as Melfort resident Reita Fennel celebrated her birthday today.
Fennel, affectionately known as “Deat,” officially turned 112 years old today. With that, she also claimed the title of being Saskatchewan’s oldest resident and Canada’s second oldest resident, news that took her by surprise, according to Parkland Place Facility Administrator Lori Hinz.
Deat was living independently in Melfort before moving into Parkland Place in February of 2019 at 111 years old. Born and raised on a farm in the Willowdale area southwest of Melfort, she has outlived all nine of her siblings and her only child. She tells staff that faith has been key to her longevity.
Among the most significant changes Deat has witnessed over more than a century of living, automobiles and airplanes rank highest. She plays the keyboard by ear and enjoys handicrafts. She also takes great pride in her appearance, paying particular attention to her clothes, hair and makeup. Deat marked her special day with cake, a continuous line of well-wishers, and an interview on a local radio station.
The province of Saskatchewan was just two years old when Melfort resident Reita “Deat” Fennel was born on November 20, 1907. With the celebration of her 112th birthday today, Deat becomes the 52nd oldest living person in the world.