101 and still fishing

Bernice Turndo, 101, reels in her fishing line and shows off her catch Oct. 19 on her 101st birthday at the Briscoe Barn. She was joined by family and other Alzheimer residents from Autumn Leaves in southwest Oklahoma City. (Photographer/Carolyn Seaman)

Bernice Turndo, 101, reels in her fishing line and shows off her catch Oct. 19 on her 101st birthday at the Briscoe Barn. She was joined by family and other Alzheimer residents from Autumn Leaves in southwest Oklahoma City. (Photographer/Carolyn Seaman)

Local farm opens up to birthday girl, Alzheimer’s residents

You are never too old to go fishing.

Bernice Turndo, who just turned 101, proved just that when she went to Briscoe Barn on Oct. 19.

As it turns out, the Autumn Leaves Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center, where Turndo lives, planned the fishing trip not even knowing it would be her birthday.She caught a fish

“Her son came to us and asked, ‘Are you really going to go fishing?’” Lana Redus, a Mustang resident that oversees marketing and sales at Autumn Leaves.

Turndo’s son then said his mother had just asked about a week before to go fishing one more time for her birthday.
“She was the first one off the bus and the first one to catch a fish,” Redus said.

Turndo’s late husband was quite the fisherman, Redus said, and while Bernice would always tag along, she enjoyed being outdoors more than the sport.

She told us she’s not the best fisherman but she enjoys the outdoors, Redus explained.

A retired business and journalism teacher from McAlester, Turndo barely stands over 5 feet tall but that didn’t stop her from also coaching the basketball team.

While most of Autumn Leaves’ residents with Alzheimer’s have many challenges, Redus said Turndo has not been their typical patient.

“She was just starting on her Alzheimer’s journey when she came to us last year at 100. We celebrated her birthday here,” Redus said. “She is in very good health and some days more alert than others.”

“We are all in awe and amazed with her every day.”

And Turndo’s secret to a long life, Redus shares on her behalf, is to relax and do what you love.

“If you don’t like doing it, just don’t do it,” Redus said Turndo’s says.

More than 10 other residents made the trip to Mustang from southwest Oklahoma City to Briscoe Barn, located at 9900 SW 89th St.

Leave a Comment