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College Park receptionist celebrates 88 years

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

The key to living a long and prosperous life is to practice good-health habits, and simply cherish everyday, and those around you, according to a College Park City Hall receptionist, who turned 88 years old this month.

Fayetteville resident, Mary Kinter, is an example of someone who lives her life to the fullest. She recently celebrated the milestone of her 88th birthday, with co-workers and city officials, in College Park.

"I don't feel my age ... and people say I don't look it," said Kinter.

She said her secret to living a life of happiness is to "take the world as it comes." She emphasized that she is a team player. "If someone needs help, I'll jump right in," she added.

She grew up in the mountains of White County, in rural north Georgia. She said her idea of fun is walking, and she likes to cook.

"You have to do the best you can," Kinter said, adding that having a good outlook on life certainly helps. "You have to be kind to people, because most people are kind to you," she added.

College Park employees honored her in a celebration on Jan. 6, at City Hall. "It was a lovely day for me," she said.

The staff provided Kinter with cake, ice cream and gifts, such as an old-fashioned jewelry box, balloons, flowers, and china mugs, according to Kinter.

"Mrs. Mary," as she is affectionately called, was joined at the birthday party by her daughter, Carole Williams, 69, who also is a College Park employee.

Kinter also has a son, Kermit Adams, 66, and another son, Kenneth Adams, who is deceased. "I have four great-grand kids, and four grand kids," she said, proudly.

"What a great honor to celebrate this milestone with Mrs. Mary," said College Park City Manager William E. Johnson, III.

"She sets an example for what College Park stands for," added Charles Hunter, the city's purchasing director. "It's fitting that she's the first person you see when you enter City Hall."

Kinter is described by people as graceful, charming and wise, according to College Park Public Information Officer Gerald Walker.

"She has a wonderful soul," Walker said. He said the staff was grateful to be able to show their appreciation for her work, and friendship.

According to Kinter, people always ask her why she continues to work at the age of 88. "I like to work ... I like my job," she said. She raves about her co-workers. "We love each other, and always help each other out," she said.

She said she has been a receptionist at City Hall for 21 years. "Until they throw me out ... I guess I'll be here," she said with a laugh.