Mercy Doc Takes the Cake (and Bakes it Too)

Lucile Wisterman (center) celebrates
her 103rd birthday with friends
at Mercy Clinic.
Dr. Larry Seals (second from left)
has baked Lucile a birthday cake
every year since 2010.

Dr. Larry Seals has a reputation for supporting the youth of Bourbon and Linn counties in Kansas. He frequently spends time away from his practice at Mercy Clinic sitting in the stands cheering on local high school teams.

But shopping for birthday cake supplies is on his list of priorities, too.

This big man with the heart to match values every stage of life. So when his patient Lucile Wisterman celebrates another birthday, Dr. Seals takes the time to hand select the supplies and bake the cake.

And with good reason: this year marks Lucile’s 103rd birthday.

This isn’t the first time Dr. Seals has whipped up a tasty dessert and harmonized with his staff to sing Happy Birthday to Lucile. For the fourth year now, Lucile has been the recipient of this special treat. As Seals’ patient since 2008, Lucile knows the care she receives at Mercy Clinic goes far beyond the expected.

Lucile’s secret to health and stamina? She said, “I was born on a farm where I was taught to work hard and eat healthy foods. We grew plenty of vegetables and fruits in our garden.”

Exercise was part of everyday, too. “I walked 1½ miles to school and worked our horses daily,” she added. “I never drank or smoked either.”

Even though Lucile’s years place her well beyond the century mark, “Today, I don’t feel much different from 90,” she said with a snicker.

So whether Lucile’s longevity is attributed to a certain lifestyle, genetics or both, this woman has volumes of memories and stories.

She recalls changes in health care over the years. As a 7-year-old, she and her father were diagnosed with pneumonia. Their doctor made a house call using his horse and buggy. Her father’s condition was serious and required surgery. The doctor made do with what was available. The family’s dining room table became an operating table so he could insert a tube allowing the fluid to drain from his lung.

Lucile’s humble nature steers her clear of recognition. She touts the care from her family for giving years to her life. “My daughter and grandson take such good care of me,” she said.

Every day she looks forward to spending time with her grandson, Jack Black, who makes a trip to Fort Scott, Kan., to visit her and serves her lunch.

It’s obvious her gratitude runs deep. She advises other women, “Stay close to your family. They are the joy in every day.”

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