RICHFIELD, Minn. - In January, KARE 11 brought you the story of Pat Marble, a 104-year-old Richfield woman who had a breakthrough heart surgery.
Now that she has recovered, we learning what's behind her drive to stay active at her age.
"She's one of a kind. The way she walks and holds herself just her youthful laugh and smile it's contagious," said Susie Luttenegger, a fitness instructor at the Richfield Community Center.
The center is a place where Marble has been going to for decades. She used to teach fitness classes and has volunteered in every capacity. Marble exercises at the center, plays cards, collects money for lunch meals provided to the community. She also helps make a quilt each year to raise money for the Richfield Community Center.
The people there look up to Marble, and see her as an inspiration, like fellow quilter Lucille Anderson: "She's a marvel," she said.
"I want to grow up and be just like her," said Luttenegger, who's 57 years old.
"She gets her mind set on something and she's going to do it," said Kris Wiklund, Marble's granddaughter.
Marble's determination to keep going led her to have heart surgery in January while awake. She was having trouble breathing. Doctors at Abbott Northwestern used catheters to replace a heart valve.
Within days, she was back to making stained glass lamps at home and baking more cookies. What keeps Marble going is simple.
"My family," she said.
Her family takes her kayaking in the summer at their home up north. Her family also takes care of Marble, so she can stay in her own home.
"After she's no longer living on this Earth her light will still shine so amazingly bright for all of us to live by," said Wiklund.
Enthusiasm, joy and a simple smile. That's what Marble tries to pass along every day.
"Maybe that's why I'm still around, maybe that's why I'm living so long," said Marble.
Since her surgery, Marble has been going to exercise rehab classes a few times a week. Overall, she said feels great and can breathe much better.