Soon-to-be centenarian will celebrate her 25th birthday as Leap Day baby

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Woman born on Leap Day celebrates turning 100 on her 25th birthday
Mary Forsythe may be 100 years old this year, but as a Leap Day baby, she's technically turning 25!

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. -- An Oklahoma woman is about to turn 100, but it's really only her 25th birthday.

Mary Forsythe was born on Feb. 29, 1924 - Leap Day. Since leap years come around every four years, she will technically celebrate her 25th birthday this year.

The party got started a little early as the Sand Springs community gathered to celebrate Forsythe.

Last week, was recognized by the Centenarians of Oklahoma and awarded a proclamation from the city celebrating her 100th birthday.

Forsythe said that her quadrennial birthday presents a special opportunity.

"I always thought I was blessed," said Forsythe, who explained that in non-leap years, she would celebrate the occasion two or three times over. "It was so much fun. We celebrated whenever we wanted to."

Forsythe said she sometimes celebrated on the the days surrounding her birthdate those years, including on her late husband's birthday, March 6.

She specifically recalled one year in which she went with her husband William Wayne Forsythe to a diner that offered free breakfast to anyone celebrating a birthday, on his birthdate. She said when the server questioned their story -- that the day marked both of their birthdays -- she had her justification ready.

"His birthday is March 6, and mine is Feb. 29. And there is no 29th on the calendar this year. So, mine is March 6," she recalled saying. The couple ate free that day.

Forsythe was born, raised and has lived her life in Sand Springs. According to the soon-to-be-official centenarian, her passions in life include music and the Bible.

She said her husband, to whom she was married to from 1942 until his death in 2011, was her high school sweetheart.

"He was beautiful. He was handsome.... And he had a bass voice that won first in this state when he was in high school," she said.

Forsythe, an alto herself, said she often joined her husband to sing with banjo bands in the neighboring communities and at nice restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

KOCO via CNN Newsource
KOCO via CNN Newsource

The mother of two, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of 11 pursued multiple different careers, working as a secretary at a law firm, pursuing a real estate license, and becoming a published author later in life.

Forsythe will celebrate her 100th birthday on Feb. 29 at her local church, where a large gathering is planned. Forsythe said she is having a hard time slimming down the guest list.

For those in attendance, she has only one rule: "No gifts, please. I don't want anything to store."

"Oh, it's just a fun time to live," she added, reflecting on the upcoming momentous occasion. "I'll tell you, it's a great time to live." says only about 5 million people worldwide have a Leap Day birthday and that the odds of being born on Leap Day stand at about 1-in-1,461.

Mason Leib of Good Morning America and Jonathan Greco of KOCO contributed to this report.