SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A former Sioux City woman is recalling her long life as she becomes a supercentenarian on her 110th birthday.  

Photo’s courtesy of Steve Degrasse, photo shows Rose DeGrasse’s signed East high school graduation photo

According to a release from Steve DeGrasse, Rose DeGrasse spent 97 years in Sioux City before relocating to San Antonio. To celebrate DeGrasse’s upcoming birthday, Robert E. Scott will be proclaiming Oct. 4 to be “Rose DeGrasse Day.”   

The release specified that a person becomes a supercentenarian when they have reached or exceeded 110 years of age.  Physicians and researchers who study the world’s oldest humans indicated that there are less than 70 supercentenarians living in the United States and around 450 in the world, according to the release.  

DeGrasse stated that she was able to reach 110 through a “close-knit family, a strong belief in God, good friends, a healthy Mediterranean diet, and a lifetime of golf and walking.” When the weather permits, she continues to walk a mile every day.  

According to the release, DeGrasse was one of six children born at home in Sioux City. DeGrasse and her siblings attended Immaculate Conception Grade School, East Junior High School, and East High School in Sioux City.  

Additionally, she went on to attend the University of Iowa where she studied Psychiatric Social Work before transferring to Briar Cliff University when it was still an all-girls college.  

The release stated that she would return to Sioux City after her mother suffered a car crash that resulted in a severed spine. DeGrasse and her siblings served as daily caregivers. They even modified their home to include a two-story elevator and well as mechanisms to hoist their mother out of bed.  

While attending Briar Cliff, she served as senior class president and was the women’s golf champion and graduated in 1934, just 4 years after the college was established. 

Photo’s courtesy of Steve Degrasse, photo shows Rose DeGrasse on her 50th birthday in 1962

” There were 12 girls in my class,” said DeGrasse, “To get to school, Dad would drive me downtown. From there, I’d take the streetcar to 27th and Jackson where the school’s janitor would pick up a few of us girls and drive us to Briar Cliff in his old Buick. When we drove through the tunnel, we’d be at school.” 

DeGrasse added that she remembers Sister Servatius who started the school.  

Briar Cliff’s Interim President released a statement on Wednesday wishing DeGrasse a happy birthday.

“On behalf of the Briar Cliff community, we wish Rose a very Happy Birthday,” says Dr. Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Briar Cliff University Interim President. “As one of our longest-living alumnae, Rose has built an incredible legacy in the past 110 years. We wish her continued health and happiness in the years to come and look forward to helping her celebrate this big day.”

In the 1940’s, DeGrasse and her family worked towards the growth of her father’s up-and-coming business, Interstate Oil Company. As her siblings left the ‘nest,’ DeGrasse became her mother’s sole caregiver before she married in 1945 and had three children. They all lived together in the house her father built until her mother died in 1961.  

Over the years, DeGrasse and her husband travel the United States as her husband played pro-am golf tournaments. The release added that he played alongside famed golfers including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and more. DeGrasse herself joined a golf club in 1976 at the Morningside Country Club. She continued to golf for 75 years until she turned 96. Now, she watches televised major golf tournaments, as well as supports the University of Iowa and Briar Cliff sports teams.  

The release stated that she is going strong and when asked about her birthday she asked, “Oh, 110 – is that a big deal?”