She's not as old as the hills, only as old as the city built on them a century ago.
Mary Whiting and Mapleton have both turned 100 this year, and the city will buy her a cake despite the fact she is a newcomer - she has only lived in Mapleton for the last 70 years."Mapleton has been a very good place to live and raise my children," Whiting said. "I've had a good life."
"She's a tough little rascal," said Juan Whiting, who cares for his mother. "She broke her hip when she was 98, and the doctors thought she would die, but they didn't know Mother."
His mother was born in Nahunta, N.C., on March 25, 1888, he said. After moving to Salt Lake City, she married Oscar Whiting, then settled on a farm in Mapleton. Oscar Whiting died at age 92 in 1982.
Whiting has seven children, 30 grandchildren and 79 great-grandchildren. She was named "mother of the year" for the Nebo district in 1969.
"There were lots of banquets. She had a great time," her son said.
Whiting deserved the honor because she was a great mother, he said.
"She was always worried about the safety of her children. I remember when I was a pilot in WWII, they always told us never to fly low or slow. They drilled it into us. Once when I went home on leave, Mother told me never to fly high or fast. It got to be a real joke between us. She just wanted me to be safe. She loved me.
"She always encouraged us to achieve. She stressed education. We all went to college and on missions."
He said he and two siblings have worked as teachers.
"And she taught us to work - you have to on a farm. Not working was an unpardonable sin."
"I worked hard at everything, had pretty good luck and am happy with my life," Whiting said. Her son said she worked hard at everything but gardening.
"My mother always dearly loved rose gardens. We always had three or four beds of roses and my father did most of the work, but my mother took most of the credit," he said, laughing. "But they both worked hard. Mother also spent a lot of time with the guide patrol. Whenever a boy would earn his Eagle Scout badge, Mother would give him $5. She has done years of work in the (LDS) Primary and Relief Society.
"She's a small lady - just over 5 feet and never weighed more than 100 pounds - but she could always hold her own."