LONG BEACH — Who says “mature” residents and computers don’t mix?
Betty Paxton is living proof.
At 104, she is adept on her iPad, reading downloaded library books and checking out all sorts of things with a little help from her daughter, Jan.
The two live in retirement in Ellensburg, and Betty seems to have barely changed from the days when she lived in Long Beach and worked at the Safeway store in Astoria.
Betty also used to take extended travels literally around the world; the Chinook Observer and Daily Astorian would cheerfully write them up on her return.
She worked as a courtesy clerk at Safeway for more than a dozen years, bagging groceries and helping customers. Her appreciative employers were so proud of her example that on her birthday they would host “Betty Paxton Day.” The mayor of Astoria would show up to make an appropriate fuss over her.
Incredibly, she finally retired on her 100th birthday, the oldest employee at any Safeway in the world.
Betty turned 104 in August. She had a hip replacement shortly before her 95th birthday and later a knee replacement. She admits to being a bit slower these days and savors her lifestyle in Central Washington. But she misses the Peninsula. “I love Long Beach!” she says with her trademark smile.
Inevitably, a newsman visiting her home has to ask that question she’s been asked over and over.
How do you live so long?
“Keep your sense of humor,” she beams, not at all impatient with the familiar query.