AVON PARK — Not too many people reach the milestone age of 100. Helen Griffith of New Smyrna Beach, Florida celebrates her 10th birthday on Nov. 10. It's her passion for exercise, family and a zest for life that has carried her through all of these years.
Born Nov. 10, 1920, to Rose and Herman Desterhaft in Mansfield, Ohio. Helen was raised with six siblings. Graduating from Madison Senior High School, she was active in sports throughout her school years even taking leadership roles on her volleyball and basketball teams. She met her husband Earl Griffith while she worked at Westinghouse and they were married in 1945 for 60 years before his passing.
Together they owned and operated the Club 13 Nightclub off Route 13 in Mansfield and Helen stayed active with her three children shuttling them to numerous activities and sporting events. The key to her longevity? Helen has always been passionate about health and exercise. She was an instructor at Elaine Powers Exercise Club in Mansfield and today, she serves as a model for all of us as she diligently completes a two mile walk per day and a rigorous round of push-ups, sit ups and stretching each morning as she has done for years.
In 1973 She and Earl moved to Avon Park, Florida where they continued their love of golf. Helen had two hole-in-one shots the same month, 23 years apart (Dec. 9, 1984 and Dec. 9, 2007). She played 18 holes of golf up to four years ago shooting in the high 80's and 90's. A rare honor, Helen has achieved the lifetime status in Weight Watchers, where she never missed a weigh in for over 40 years until COVID-19 cancelled all gatherings.
She dresses for each day in fashionable attire and is ready for the day brings without complaint. As an active member of the Elks Club and the American Legion, Helen doesn't miss many social events. She is always up for adventure taking line dancing lessons at the age of 94 and has attended Coronado United Methodist Church in New Smyrna for many years.
Family keeps her going strong as she has attended countless graduations, birthdays and weddings of her six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. When asked what is her secret to staying young, Helen says, "Have God on your side, stay active, eat well, stay positive without complaining and keep your family close."