At the age of 107, with a twinkle in her eyes and a quick smile, Trudi White happily resides at Fair Havens Nursing Home in Miami Springs. The definition of spunky, having lived independently until the age of 104, Trudi recently celebrated her 107th birthday with family and friends with a dinner where she recalled the great experiences of her life.
Born in 1907 in Earlham, Iowa, White has great memories of rides to her grandma’s house in a horse-drawn buggy and says the most memorable change in her lifetime was the invention of television.
Trudi moved to Miami in 1949 and went to work at Riddle Aviation in accounting. She later worked as a waitress at the Fontainebleau, where in the 1950s she was given a $50 tip by none other than Frank Sinatra. Trudi also worked at local Stadnik Drugs for many years in the early ’60s.
She was 5 when the Titanic sank, she has lived through World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, 9/11 attacks, Iraq War, and now the Afghanistan War. Trudi is most proud of her three sons, all veterans of WWII and Korea.
Her youngest son is Miami Springs resident Howard McLees, who says she never smoked, never drank, and takes no vitamins. She loves coca-cola and orange juice and will only take medications in an emergency. The inside tip that she and other friends over 90 years old share is no ice in beverages.
She doesn’t like to call attention to herself or complain and doesn’t like to be around those who do. Happiness is the factor for her many years — “common everyday happiness” as Trudi says — and a loving family!
The staff at Fair Havens know her mantra by heart: “Head high, feet low, doctors orders. Trudi White, number one on the chart, period, period ... period!”
Happy 107th birthday and Valentine’s Day, Trudi!