Solana Beach resident celebrates 100th birthday

Nora Aust toured the neighborhood for her 100th birthday.
(Yvette Magnaghi)

Solana Beach resident Nora Aust celebrated her 100th birthday in March with a short parade route along her neighborhood and a party with her children, neighbors, family and friends.

“I’ve been blessed,” said Aust, who moved to present-day Solana Beach back in 1946. “I don’t take any medication.”

Balloons that spelled out “100” and other decorations adorned the front of her home at the time of her birthday celebration.

The oldest of nine children, she is originally from Oklahoma. Her parents were farmers. Aust remembers the cows she milked, chickens, pigs and goat from her childhood. Solana Beach, which wasn’t a city until 1986, was much more sparsely populated when she first arrived. Her husband, a truck driver, used to be able to flash his lights from the road for Aust to see at the house.

Today there are many more single-family homes lining the streets east of Interstate-5 where she lives.

Aust’s hobbies over the years have included everything from gambling to pulling weeds and taking walks around her neighborhood, with daily rituals such as coffee and the newspaper every morning. She also used to work at UC San Diego. Her motto is “If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it.” She has also been involved with Meals on Wheels as a volunteer.

Aust (center), at her birthday celebration, was born in 1923.
(Padma Kodukula)

Aust has two children, Chuck and Jerry, as well as three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

One of Aust’s neighbors, Cindy McNiece, said in an email to neighbors after the parade: “I am certain, our ‘Matriarch of the Neighborhood’ felt all of the Good Cheer & Congratulations along the way! It was a great turnout of 40+ and their dogs at the parade ending! You Guys are the Best!”

“Thank you One and ALL for your contributions, gifts, flowers, goodies and of course the “Classic” chauffeur tour!” she continued.

Aust’s advice for living a long life?

“I don’t smoke, not a big drinker,” she said. “If I do drink I have an Angry Orchard now and then.”