She’s the toast of Hudson, and for reasons far beyond being its oldest living resident.
Ada Cooper Miller will celebrate her 110th birthday today with her “second family,” the staff and her fellow residents at the Hudson Elms, the skilled nursing and assisted living center she’s called home for a little more than nine years.
This active citizen would want you to know that she’s in assisted living.
Mrs. Miller — who neither looks nor acts her age — plays bingo, enjoys going out to lunch with her friends and has no dietary restrictions. The only sign of her advanced years is a little dementia that comes and goes. And she uses a wheelchair for safety’s sake, because sometimes her legs give out.
Born Dec. 12, 1903, in Southampton, England, the former Ada Cooper immigrated with her family to Hudson in early 1904 when she was 4 months old.
Her father, Harry Cooper, a trained landscape gardener/artist, worked for the wealthy James W. Ellsworth on his Evamere estate. Ellsworth is credited with rebuilding Hudson and Western Reserve Academy, which claims Mrs. Miller (class of 1924) as its oldest graduate.
Her father would later open Cooper’s Flower Shop and Greenhouse, where his wife, Anna, and their daughter worked. Mrs. Miller, known as “The Flower Lady” for her fanciful arrangements for weddings and other social events, didn’t officially retire until 2003 when she moved to the Elms.
Perhaps working among all of those flowers has contributed to her blossoming longevity, as she knows no other reason for it, except maybe the tall glass of milk she used to drink every morning until recently.
She and her late husband, Lloyd Miller, a banker, have one daughter, Nancy Miller Rodgers of New York, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her family was on hand over Thanksgiving to mark the major milestone with her.
So beloved is Ada Cooper Miller in Hudson that in September, Franklin Street, where she had lived in the same house for 99 years, was given the honorary name of Ada Cooper Miller Lane.
“It will have my name long after I’m gone!” Mrs. Miller took supreme satisfaction in saying.
Lest you think her life was all about roses, baby’s breath and calla lilies, consider the rest of her impressive resume:
• She spent 40 years as a member of the Hudson City Schools Board, nearly 25 as president.
• The natatorium in East Woods Elementary School is named for her.
• She served as president of the Cleveland Florist Club and the Hudson Garden Club.
“She’s the oldest person I’ve ever come in contact with and certainly the most popular. She’s always in the Hudson Hub[-Times],” said Tracy Krofcheck, a member of the Elms’ activities department.
Ada Cooper Miller — who loves watching old movies, especially Grumpy Old Men — talks about life not in the past tense but in the present and future:
“I get up every morning and open my eyes and I close them at night. Whatever tomorrow brings, tomorrow brings!”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com