Edrice Bates who lives at Wardwell in Saco recently celebrated here 103th birthday. Courtesy photo

Edrice Bates of Saco celebrated her 103rd birthday with quite a few surprises from the Wardwell, a nonprofit senior living community where she resides.

After learning about Edrice after she first moved in and knowing her birthday was on the way, Wardwell’s management team worked together to gift Edrice a few of her favorites. She was presented colorful roses from Farmhouse Flowers, a strawberry cheesecake made from scratch by Beth Warren of Wardwell’s kitchen, a Red Sox T-shirt with a baseball cap to match, and a certified letter from the Boston Red Sox acknowledging her birthday and thanking Edrice for being a lifelong fan.

In addition, the owner of Alex Pizza promised Edrice a pizza when she turned 103. She went the day of her birthday to enjoy it with her good friend, Rebecca Ezzard. Edrice was delighted, saying, “It’s always been the best pizza around.”

And the fun didn’t stop there.

The Wardwell also asked Edrice what her birthday wish would be; she said, “To be able to play Bridge again.” Due to her eyesight, she had not been able to play. The Wardwell purchased two large playing card decks and worked on getting a few of her friends from the local community to join her for a game. Employees gathered around a decorated room where a special Bridge table was set up and cheered “surprise!” as she walked in. Edrice was incredibly happy
and could not believe it. The game was a success and the group plans to meet regularly.

Edrice is originally from Aroostook County and lived in Old Orchard Beach for many years. She managed the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Portland and said, “I bet nobody can say they’ve been retired for 42 years.” She says of all the places she has visited, traveling to the Hawaiian Islands and Las Vegas were the most fun. She played basketball in high school and has always loved baseball, the Red Sox of course being her favorite team. She and her family played every night after dinner if the weather was nice. She has one son, Erwin, two grandchildren, Jarvis and Brian, and three great-grandchildren, Taylor, Cameron and Jacob. Her favorite pastimes are to play duplicate Bridge, listening to books on tape, watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” and playing Solitaire and Quiddler.

Edrice says, “You’ve got to do things that stimulate your brain.”