WINSTON-SALEM-  A notable North Carolinian celebrated a big birthday Thursday. 

Mrs. Sina Hayes is the citizen in North Carolina celebrated her 112th birthday.

She says her secret to living a long life is to "keep happy thoughts."

Hayes celebrated with friends and family, including her son Carlyle, who's 90 years old.

She also celebrated her birthday with the mayor of Winston-Salem, other dignitaries and residents at the Brookridge Retirement Community Center. Mayor Allen Joines presented her with a key to the city. 

Hayes was born in 1903 and married in 1922.

"She and dad were married 70 years before dad died in '93,” Carlyle Hayes said.

Hayes lived through events like World War I and the sinking of the Titanic.

But she says some of her earliest memories were as a young girl working on her family's farm in Iredell County.

"My dad has always been a good father. I had a good background,” she said.

She vividly recalls World War II.

“All three of us boys went in, and she had to watch us go,” her son recalls. “She had to sign up for me because I went in at 17."

Along with keeping happy thoughts, Hayes is also keeping the faith.

"Jesus loves me, this I know,” she sang.

Hayes has lived in North Carolina all her life.