Vera HarperALTON - Vera Harper marked her 100th birthday on December 16, 2021, and she is a treasured member of the North Alton Baptist Church congregation. Vera has been a church member for 53 years, her pastor Rev. Sonny Renken said.

"Vera is the sweetest lady," the pastor explained. "She is a grandma or mother to everyone. She has never had children and church members are considered her family. She is 100 and still has a driver's license."

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Vera still attends church at North Alton Baptist. She is also a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan who often communicates in loud fashion with the television when a game is on, Pastor Renken said.

"She is a full-blooded St. Louis Cardinals fan," he said. "It is like she is at the game when she watches one on television."

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Vera said she has lived such a long life because of her belief and trust in God and feels she has been very blessed along her journey.

"If she doesn't get to church, someone makes sure she gets a cup of coffee and doughnut," Renken said.

The North Alton Baptist Church congregation knows which church pew Vera sits in and always reserves it for her, the pastor added.

"Everyone knows that pew is Vera's pew," he said.

Pastor Renken closed what he and the others in her church family feel about her: "Vera is just a wonderful woman."

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