Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Linda Walker, shown at home on Wednesday, holds a certificate signed by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. in honor of her 100th birthday.

OREM — Never mind the fact that Linda Walker just turned 100 years old. As soon as this snow melts, she'll be back in her garden.

"I love to plant flowers," she said. "And they seem to survive."

Walker's living room is filled with beautiful bouquets of purple, pink and white flowers — one basket holds 100 flowers — all gifts from family and friends to celebrate her milestone birthday.

"I requested no excitement for this occasion," Walker said but smiled as she explained how her daughter flew in from California, her son visited and neighbors and friends gathered — all in her honor. "Oh, what a celebration."

Even Orem got in on the party as the City Council and Mayor Jerry Washburn honored Walker for her lifetime of service and friendship.

"Linda Walker just celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday (Feb. 10)," said Orem City Mayor Jerry Washburn. "I thought it would be special to have her come here and recognize that marvelous event."

Washburn escorted the white-haired Walker to the front of the City Council chambers where he explained to the audience — primarily young Scouts — what the world was like in 1908 when Walker was born in St. George.

The first Model T rolled off the assembly line for $360. Teddy Roosevelt was the president, and the U.S. population was around 90 million — a far cry from today's 300 million plus.

"She has been, in her 100 years, a great blessing to countless, countless people," Washburn said. "We're just honored tonight to have her here as a member of our community, to set an example of what a life well-lived is."

Walker grew up in Utah, then moved to Pocatello to survive the Great Depression.

She jokes, "I don't move very fast. I went up to Idaho for a year, and it took me 50 to get back."

But at age 73, she finally made it back to Orem and continued her planting and pruning, often going out early in the morning to prune her trees on her ladder, because people who saw her would try to stop her.

Along with gardening, Walker loves munching on sharp, strong cheeses, reading and cooking.

She is famous for her freezer jam, which she would make in bulk and share with others.

"She never wants you to leave without giving you something," said neighbor Susan Echols, who keeps an eye on Walker. "She always wants to share whatever she's got."

As a member of the Utah Century Club — an award she got in the mail from Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. — her advice for her younger peers is to keep moving.

"I haven't been walking as much as I should," she said. "The bones don't take it like they used to."

She shared her humor with the Orem City Council, as well.

"I've been sent home three times to die and I had to tell (the morticians to get lost)," she said. "I saw the first car that came in to St. George and the first airplane that flew, and it's been marvelous. And it's all the kindness of all so many. All of Orem ... has been so kind and helped me — I'm sticking around."

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