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Lola's Life: Billings woman celebrates 107th birthday

Posted at 9:06 AM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-09 12:58:08-05

BILLINGS — Lola Vancampen, a Billings woman at St. John's United, turned 107 years old on Sunday.

“Actually, I never think about it, really," said Vancampen, when reflecting on her lifetime.

Her daughter, LoRae Putnam, who is in her 80s, said she visits her mother in the retirement community every day.

“I will tell you, she’s a retired teacher and she’s a great strength to the whole family … she’s still there for every one of us," said Putnam.

The staff of St. John's said Vancampen continues to be an uplifting figure for the whole community.

“I have known Lola as just that sunshine in the cottage," said Lydia Monroe, an employee at St. John's.

Vancampen spent most of her life as a fifth-grade teacher, a profession the St. John's staff said she has a perfect positive attitude for.

"I like to hear children learn," said Vancampen.

She said she is unsure of any secret to her life's longevity, but Putnam points to her mother's active lifestyle of walking every day.

"She has said to all of us, 'your body is made to move,'" said Putnam.

Most of Vancampen's joy, according to her, now comes from simplicity.

“I love to look out this window, across the meadow here. I look at that every day. I’m grateful for it," said Vancampen.