Rillie Simmons, a.k.a Ms. Rillie, was born in 1915 and grew up on a rural Alabama farm.
She earned her degree from Troy State Teachers College and taught for 39 years in the Coffee Springs, AL area.
Ms. Rillie lived independently until the age of 103, when she transitioned to assisted living.
Ms. Rillie was supposed to be a twin, but her counterpart was miscarried in the womb.
She thinks this may have something to do with her longevity.
From a young age, she was raised to be kind to others, and she has maintained a strong faith in God, reading from the Bible every day. In addition to reading, Ms. Rillie also enjoys word puzzles and is a fierce player of dominoes and Rummikub. Although she doesn’t watch TV much, she is a die-hard Alabama football fan, and never misses watching the Crimson Tide. She maintains a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ms. Rillie does not dwell on the past or fret about the future, and her family describes her as a dynamic, positive person.
Nancy Davi was born in 1914 in Verbicaro, Calabria, Italy.
As a young child, she prayed that one day she would live in America. When she was 13 years old, her wish came true.
Nancy and her mother sailed from Naples to New York and arrived just after her 14th birthday.
Nancy would tell the story of the excitement of her first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.
After a brief stay on Ellis Island, she settled in San Francisco to live with her father. Nancy attended school without knowing barely a word of English, but quickly learned and excelled to the top of her class.
She worked for Planters Peanut Company as a billing clerk until she married her husband and moved to Monterey, CA in 1951. She often recalled the chance meeting of her husband, Thomas Davi, a handsome Sicilian fisherman, who she met after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Nancy lived on the Monterey Peninsula for 69 years. Nancy was a stay-at-home mom until her two children started school, after which she worked at the cafeteria snack bar for the local high school.
Nancy was an avid Bingo player and attended Bingo games two to three times a week until the COVID-19 pandemic caused Bingo parlors to shut down. She never missed watching a game of her beloved San Francisco Giants.
Nancy believed in keeping busy: She enjoyed knitting and crocheting, communicated daily with family and friends on Facebook, researched genealogy internet sites to develop her family tree, completed many crossword puzzles and excelled in trivia games. Nancy would say her secret to a long life would be “to smile often”.