Woman gets key to the city for her 100th birthday


Mella Townsend has lived in South Bend, Indiana since 1924.  On her 100th birthday, the town honored her by giving her the key to the city. 

Family and friends honored Mella Townsend at the Charles Martin Center for her big day today.

She moved here from Mississippi when she was just five years old.

Townsend says she spent most of her life taking care of her family, including owning a business in the city in her younger years.

What’s my secret? Always be kind to everybody. It don’t help you to hate people. If you love everybody, things will go right in life for you.”

-Mella Townsend

Townsend’s cousin, Lester, also got a key to the city tonight.

He turned 111 years old in March. 

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