Rotating Header Image

Here’s to many more: Woman’s 103rd birthday celebrated up in the air

Photos by Greg Barnette/Record Searchlight: Air Shasta pilot David Everson talks to Marion Paul after taking her and her son Wayne on a flight over Redding in celebration of Marion's 103rd birthday Wednesday

From today’s Redding (CA) Record Searchlight by Sean Langoria…

A Redding, CA woman and her son celebrated her 103rd birthday Wednesday with a flight over the city.

Marion Paul and her 73-year-old son, Wayne, were treated to a helicopter ride around Redding as part of her birthday celebration.

“She loved it,” said Wayne Paul, also of Redding. “She was smiling and grinning, waving and pointing.”

David Everson, a pilot for local helicopter dealer and flight school Air Shasta, took Marion and Wayne over the Sundial Bridge and the Sacramento River, taking time to briefly land on an island for some duck watching before returning to a field behind The Vistas Assisted Living and Memory Care Community.

“It was a good ride,” Wayne Paul said. “It did us proud.”

It was the first time he and his mother had ever been in a helicopter, he said.

“She told me it was worth waiting 103 years,” Wayne Paul said. “She said she ‘loved it, it’s just like riding a motorcycle,’ which she’s done a lot of.”

Though Vistas has had several birthday celebrations in the past, some of which included motorcycles, this was the first time a helicopter was involved, said Vistas employee Cinamon Lunsford.

“Marion was definitely excited,” Lunsford said.

After the flight about 35 Vistas residents and employees gathered in the dining room for cake and a traditional “Happy Birthday” sing-a-long. Another one of Marion Paul’s sons, 77-year-old Alan Paul, and her 19-year-old great-grandson, Caleb Lytle, also joined the celebration.

The cake had “Flight 103” written on it in honor of Marion’s birthday and fortunately, it only had 12 candles on it.

“There’s too many,” Marion Paul said as she blew out the candles a few at a time.

Born Jan. 26, 1908, in Duluth, Minn., Marion Paul traveled abroad extensively with her late husband, Fred Paul, while he worked in the oil refinery industry on construction projects around the world.

“Wherever they’d build an oil refinery, that’s where he’d go,” Wayne Paul said.

The couple lived in India, Kuwait, Canada, Hawaii and Saipan. They also visited Israel, Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean, Pacific Islands, the Philippines and Japan.

The couple had been married for 62 years when her high school sweetheart died in 1989. In March 2002, she moved to Shasta County from Tehachapi.

“She’s had a pretty good life,” Wayne Paul said. “She’s lived and traveled all over the place.”

Though her 103rd birthday was pretty exciting, next year may be even more fun, Wayne Paul said.

“For her 104th birthday, we’re working on sky diving,” he said. “The doctor said it’d be OK as long as she didn’t land.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *