Stella Theodore Manios is well-known amongst the community in Greenville, South Carolina namely for her charity work. Since the Great Depression she has been raising much-needed funds for the needy, her church, and local Greek festivals.
“They’d see her coming and either hide or have their cheque books ready by the time she made her pitch,” family friend Jim Konduros told Independent Mail.
But on Sunday it was a chance for the attention to be on Manios herself, celebrating her 100th birthday at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Greenville surrounded by hundreds of her friends and family.
Despite her age, the centenarian remains very active and after cutting her cake, hit the dance floor with her granddaughter Stacey Hester who says “We can’t keep up with her”.
Aside from using a cane from time to time, she appears to be in good health with good genes running through the family.
Amongst those gathered on the day to celebrate were Manios’ younger siblings Lula Theodore, 99, Georgia Pouler, 95. and brother Nick Theodore aged 88.
But according to the matriarch, the secret to ageing gracefully is not what you might think. While her diet generally consists of traditional Greek dishes, she doesn’t shy away from bacon, processed food or sugary drinks, and instead puts her long life down to her state of mind.
“I think positive,” Manios said. “If I’m in pain, I don’t think about it and I’m not in pain.”