Dorothy Carnelia, age 106, still lives at home. Photo by Christina McDonough Hunt

Woman Turns 106 Years Old, Offers Advice for a Long, Fulfilled Life 

By Christina McDonough Hunt

Surrounded by loved ones, Dorothy Carnelia of Prairie Village marked 106 years of life in a weekend filled with celebrations. There were presents, cake and lots of laughter with talk of memories.  

Dorothy Carnelia, age 106, still lives at home. Photo by Christina McDonough Hunt

“You have to celebrate everything,” said Carnelia. “It’s important!”

Carnelia most enjoys celebrating with her family, especially the company of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

“They are all so special to me and all so good to me,” Carnelia said. “This includes all the wonderful in-laws we have gained over the years in each generation. And having so many come to see me in my home means so much to me.”  

When asked how it felt to be 106 years old, Carnelia replied, “Pretty old, but certainly glad to still be here. I have a wonderful family, and a happy, good life.”

Carnelia credits her long life to having a grateful heart, a family that loves her, and her faith. So, what is her greatest piece of advice?

“Be kind to everyone. Pray, love, forgive, and celebrate life.”

“Mom never had an unkind word to say about anyone,” said Dotte Carnelia, her daughter. “I think her length of days is assisted by living every day with a grateful and loving heart and a song in her heart.”  

Carnelia was born on August 23, 1913 in New York City in the Bronx. She married the love of her life, Joe, when she was 32; he was 4 days shy of 30. Her greatest memory was “meeting my dear Joe. He was a wonderful husband and father.”  

In 1950 Joe transferred here with his job as a housewares buyer at Macy’s, and the couple purchased a home at 75th & State Line in Prairie Village. Carnelia still resides in that home today. They were married for 55 years and had 7 children, 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.



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