Evanston resident Frances Papas celebrates her 100th birthday with grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends. Submitted photo

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Every day when 100-year-old Frances Papas leaves The Highlands at King Home assisted living community to go for a walk, she takes only a cane and her sense of humor. She tells the front desk person, “Don’t have a heart attack, I’m only going to China.”

A gathering of more than 120 friends and family to honor Ms. Papas’100th birthday on Aug. 30 was held in the Huss Gallery at The Highlands at King Home. Six of her seven grandchildren and eight of her 12 great-grandchildren came from as far as California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

Ms. Papas does not attribute her long life to anything other than good genes and living a simple life. She recommends, “Live as simply as possible. Don’t try to be a big shot. We all have our own personal worth and are responsible for ourselves.” She says her parents always told her, “Don’t do anything to disgrace yourself. What you do reflects on your family and on all of Greek society.”

Ms. Papas traveled to Spain, Israel, China, France, Ireland and Eastern Europe. She was especially committed to Evanston Hospital, where she volunteered for 28 years, until she was 96.