The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated Buffles' noteworthy birthday on Thursday.
To turn 108 years old is no simple task, but Elizabeth Walke credits her longevity to dark chocolate and, of course, her family and friends. Buffles, as Elizabeth has been affectionately known since childhood, walked into a room of about 60 smiling faces singing “Happy Birthday” to her on Thursday night at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bunnell.
Old black and white photos juxtaposed the colorful birthday cake that sat on the table behind Sali, Buffles' only daughter, as they both recited fond and funny memories from over the last century.
Sali Walke, 66, opened the evening by reciting a quote that’s proudly displayed in their home: “Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.” Now more than ever, this quote reigned true for the Walkes.
“I would come home sick from school, and she would light up like a butterfly,” Sali Walke chuckled, as she recalled those days when her mother took the extra chance to teach and read books with her at home.
As an elementary school teacher for much of her life, Buffles loved to pass on wisdom to those around her — sometimes without even knowing it.
“[Buffles] taught me that life’s supposed to be enjoyed, not endured,” said Katya Herrod, a 20-year-old Palm Coast resident.
While she’s only known Buffles for one month, Herrod aspires to live a life with the positive mindset Buffles embodies.
The celebration came as a complete shock to Buffles, who officially turns 108 on May 24.
“I remember wondering what it would be like to be 20,” Buffles said.
And now nearly 108 years into her life, here she stands — still smiling and still laughing.