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Centenarian feted on birthday

For many people in Boulder City, Monday was just another day. For Dorothy Burns, it was something special because she celebrated her 103rd birthday.

“It’s very special,” said Dale Leonard, who is married to Burns’ granddaughter, Denise Leonard.

Described as a gracious and caring lady by her granddaughter, Burns moved to Boulder City a little more than two years ago. Up until then she lived on her own and even drove until she was 100 years old.

“We love this place,” said Denise Leonard. “She seems to be really thriving here.”

To mark the occasion, Mary Rush, administrator of Lakeview Terrace, the assisted living facility where Burns lives, organized a surprise drive-by celebration.

Burns said she was “very surprised.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything,” she said.

“Grandma doesn’t like us to fuss over her,” said Denise Leonard.

“But she loves it when it happens,” added her son, Speed Burns.

“Very few people reach 103,” he said. “She still seems kind of spry and she still reads a lot.”

In her spare time, Dorothy Burns enjoys reading mysteries, especially those written by Margaret Truman. She also enjoys watching hockey, football, baseball and NASCAR. She loves following the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Olympics.

She is from New York and worked as a clerk in a prison while she lived there.

Dorothy Burns said her favorite part of celebrating her birthday is seeing her family. She raised three sons with her husband, who died more than 30 years ago. She has six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Denise Leonard said her grandmother has survived some major illnesses in her life.

“In her early years, she had scarlet fever, mumps, whooping cough and measles,” she said. “She figures having had everything at an early age, this made her impervious to illnesses in later life.”

She said she also survived metastatic melanoma when she was 100.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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