Grand Junction Woman to Celebrate 103rd Birthday
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- When the telephone and traffic light were being invented and William Taft was president, a local resident had just been born. Now, 103 years later, she‘s preparing to celebrate a big birthday.
Having spent nearly 90 years on the Western Slope, Dorothy Ambrose Burgess has successfully taught school, run a business and now plans to commemorate her 103rd birthday this Saturday.
“She has been very successful,” said Gaynell Colaric, Burgess’ daughter. “She was kind of a woman before her time.”
Burgess grew up on a farm in Fruita, but hasn't always called the Western Slope her home.
"I was born in Denver," said Burgess.
It wasn't until she was 13 years old that she moved to the Grand Junction area, watching the once small city turn into something she says continues to change.
“When you think about it, she's seen a lot in her life,” said Colaric.
Along with her late husband, Burgess owned and operated a business, Gay Johnson's Inc., until the age of 70. Her daughter says she’s always been a great role model.
“She’s definitely the oldest in the family tree. We haven't had anybody even close to that,” said Colaric.
The bridge-loving senior attributes her longevity to a positive attitude, walking everyday and of course, “being happy.”
Though she has lived for more than a century, the Colorado native is still as healthy as they come.
She says when she’s not shopping at the Mesa Mall with her daughter, she enjoys chatting and hanging with her friends in her home at Mesa View Retirement Residence.
“They’re practically her family,” said Colaric. “They take great care of her.”
There are small things Burgess hasn't had the opportunity to do, including learning how to ride a bicycle, but her daughter says she never complains about anything.
“She doesn’t even take any medication,” said Colaric. “So maybe you'll be interviewing us when she is 110.”
Burgess even went to college in Colorado and graduated from Western State College in Gunnison.
She’s a proud parent of two, a grandmother to four and even a great-grandmother to nine.