‘Glad that my fingers work’: 104-year-old woman has been playing piano for nearly a century

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 12:18 PM MDT
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LITTLETON, Co. (KMGH) – What do you give somebody for their 104th birthday?

Chocolate works, but after a century and some change, the birthday girl is the one that has the gift to give.

Lucille Claridge just turned 104, and while she may not be in the same health condition she once was, nearly 100 years of music comes back to her fingertips when she sits down at the piano.

Claridge has been playing piano since the roaring 20s when her mother strongly encouraged her to take lessons.

“Kids just always did what the folks told them to do,” she said.

In turn, she did the same with her daughter, Billy, whose last name was not provided.

“Music is in her soul,” Billy said. “I’ve heard it my whole life.”

When Claridge’s husband passed away in 1996, she made sure to keep playing every week at their church where up until the pandemic, Claridge played the organ for 42 years.

“I’m glad I could [play the piano],” Claridge said. “Glad that my fingers work.”

People have been bringing the 104-year-old woman presents all week. About 600 people showed up for her 100th birthday party, and she’s still making new friends.

While there are plenty of friends and family she misses now, when Claridge sits at the piano, she remembers what matters most.

“My mother had me take piano lessons and I didn’t always like the practice,” Claridge said. “But I’m glad I did, and I’m glad she had me take lessons.”