South county resident marks 100th birthday, still works at Feed My People


To celebrate Mary Halliburton’s 100th birthday, she posed with two of South County Baptist Church’s babies born this year, 100 years after her. Pictured, from left, are: A.J. Hof with parents Keri and Adam Hof; Halliburton; and Jensen Leslie with parents Alexandra and Bradley Leslie.

Some people who live to 100 years old might consider taking it easy for a change, but not south county resident Mary Halliburton.

Halliburton, who turned 100 Feb. 23, still volunteers twice a week in the jewelry section at the Feed My People Thrift Shop.

But the store’s shoppers can’t be blamed for not realizing that their salesperson is a centenarian. Halliburton is still in good health and only takes blood-pressure medication and a few other pills a day, including a vitamin and an aspirin.

South County Baptist Church celebrated her birthday with a party attended by hundreds. To celebrate, Halliburton took photos with some of the church’s newborns, who were born 100 years after her.

In response to the question everyone asks a 100-year-old — how did you do it? — Halliburton said, “I am never still.”

She continues to live independently and keeps a good house, according to the church’s remarks at her party. It was only a few years ago that she finally hired someone to mow her lawn.

She enjoys gardening, grows vegetables every summer and enjoys decorating her house for different holidays. She still enjoys quilting, charcoal painting and makes jewelry to benefit the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. When she drops a needle, she crawls under the loom to retrieve it.

She still drove until three or fours ago, and she said if she could buy anything she wanted, she would get a self-driving car.

Halliburton is nearly a year older than Rev. Billy Graham, who died Feb. 21 after turning 99 in November, and the two have a connection. Twice while in her 90s, Halliburton went to Charlotte, N.C., to volunteer for Operation Christmas Child, a Christmas giving project for children in Africa run by Graham’s son, Franklin Graham. When the younger Graham learned that a woman the same age as his father was volunteering, he made sure to meet Halliburton and took photos with her.

“Thank you, Mary, for being who you are,” the church said in the program for the party. “You are an inspiration to all of us. We love you and hope to keep you around for a long time to come.”