‘Crab Cakes and Beer’ Are Key to the Perfect Party, 103-Year-Old Woman Says

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At 103 years old, Mary Barnes knows how to throw a good party.

During her birthday celebration on Jan. 15, she shared the two things that really kick her party up a notch, according to The Washington Post:

“Nothing tastes better at a party than crab cakes and beer,” she says, raising a pint for a photo. She currently resides at an assisted living facility in Virginia and requested these two items at her birthday party.

She reportedly enjoyed a slice of German chocolate cake, too.

Barnes is known for serving in World War II and was stationed in Hawaii in 1942 as a member of the Navy. Joining roughly a year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she served Ford Island in the accounting department until 1945, she said in a 2018 interview with the American History Project.

Barnes was also one of the first Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES). “If history was being made,” she says, “I wanted to be there.”

While she currently maintains an optimistic and fun-loving attitude, her life hasn’t been all fishcakes and brewskis. She lived through the Great Depression and experienced the loss of her father, her mother’s severe coal furnace injury, and challenging economic times during her early years.

After leaving the Navy (and subsequently serving a year in the Navy Reserves), Barnes moved to Virginia and later, Ann Arbor, Mich. There, she met her late husband Fred.

“I have a lot of nice memories and I have a happy life,” Barnes told The Washington Post. “I’m looking forward to another party when I’m 104.”

Here’s to many more birthdays celebrated with freshly-fried crab cakes and cold beer.