The only child of South Dakota farmers, Lois Laing grew up to earn a master's degree in nursing -- and become an example of good living to her family.
"She's strong, independent," said daughter-in-law Ronnie Laing of Kennewick.
"(She's an) excellent role model as a grandmother, especially for all her granddaughters," added Leslie Laing of Arizona, one of those granddaughters.
Four generations of Lois Laing's family gathered Friday in Richland to celebrate her 100th birthday.
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They ate cake, drank punch and told a little of the woman whose life has spanned a century.
In South Dakota, she'd ride her horse, Dixie, to grade school.
"Do you remember Dixie?" Leslie asked her grandmother.
"Oh, yes," Lois said.
Laing eventually made her way to Pendleton, where she and her husband, Charles, raised their two sons.
She worked as a nurse for years before retiring. Charles died a little more than a decade ago.
Once an avid golfer and bridge player, Laing is dealing with dementia and has slowed some. She now lives at Guardian Angel Homes in Richland.
She wore a bright smile as she ate cake with her family Friday afternoon.
Pat Laing, one of Laing's sons, talked about his mother's positive outlook. "That's got to be a big contributor (to her long life)," he said. "If you go around angry and mad at people, it tends to be more baggage than you should really carry around."