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Oklahoma woman celebrates 110th birthday

ALVA -- A woman believed to be Oklahoma's oldest living resident has turned 110.

Kristine Brown, a retired Northwestern Oklahoma State University mathematics instructor, celebrated her birthday at the Share Convalescent Home.

Photographer and journalist Mary Jane Alexander included Brown in a photo essay that was printed in the winter 2006 issue of Oklahoma Today magazine. Alexander did a statewide search to document Oklahoma's residents as part of the state's centennial.

Brown told workers at the convalescent home that because her health is fragile, she didn't want a big party this year.

When she turned 100, friends held a large reception to mark the occasion, and local sororities honored her.

"Evidently I had the right kind of food when I was a kid, because I still have my own teeth," she said on that occasion. Brown was born Kristine Klostermyer in Rockville, Mo., on Sept. 8, 1897. She and her family moved to Oklahoma when she was 3 years old, settling in Perry.

She began her teaching career at a rural school in Noble County near Perry with a provisional teaching certificate. Her salary was $85 a month for an eight-month term.

Kristine and her husband lived on the school grounds in a "home on wheels" built in her father's workshop and pulled to the school.

Brown taught at that rural school for five or six years "until they decided they needed somebody else."

She went on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees and in 1947 she came to Alva to teach in the mathematics department of what is now Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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