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Meet Beulah Irene Smestad

A Conversation with the 104-Year-Old

How long have you lived in Arizona?

23 years, since 1999.

Are/were you married?

Yes, my husband, Harris Smestad, and I were married in 1949 in Billings, Montana. We were married 44 years before he passed away in 1993.

How many children?

I have three children: one daughter, Sharon Sill; and two sons, Steve and Gary Smestad.

How many grandchildren?

I have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

What is a typical day like for you?

I thoroughly enjoy my leisurely mornings. I get up around 9 or 10 a.m., have breakfast, read the daily newspaper, and then do my Sudoku. By this time, it is noon or 1 p.m., and I start my day. Sometimes there are appointments for hair or nails, the occasional doctor visit, etc. If not, I go to my desk to tackle my "To Do" list, which consists of answering messages, phone calls, any business matters, etc. There are always things to do. I also have a helper who comes two or three afternoons a week to help around the house, get groceries, and take me to appointments.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Evenings at home with my parents, brother, and sister. Usually, my sister and I made fudge and popcorn, then we played whist with my dad.

What is one thing that always puts a smile on your face?

My kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. Just seeing them and watching them grow.

Is there anything you wish you could have done differently in your life?

I wish I hadn’t stressed over the small things that in the scheme of life don’t matter. It is just wasted time that you can’t get back.

What is your favorite place that you’ve visited/traveled to?

So many beautiful places, but one event that stands out and I was privileged to attend was in Scotland where my son, Steve, lived and worked for a few years. My husband and I received a formal invitation to an event and a luncheon where Queen Elizabeth was the honored guest and speaker. We especially enjoyed watching as Steve was introduced to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

What is your favorite food?


What do you think the secret is to such a long life?

Plenty of sleep (eight to nine hours a night) and a positive mindset.

  • Beulah and her children
  • On her wedding day
  • The entire family