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Facebook’s oldest woman stunned by anonymous stranger’s act of kindness

Now she just needs some rims.


Miles Klee


Posted on Aug 27, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 8:04 am CDT

Santa Barbara’s Edythe Kirchmaier, who at the age of 105 is California’s oldest driver, volunteers for the non-profit organization Direct Relief, devoted to bettering the lives of those affected by poverty, natural disaster, and civil unrest. She’s also the oldest registered user on Facebook, and on her 105th birthday gathered 105,000 likes for the charity’s Facebook page.

Yes, Kirchmaier certainly seems to have life figured out after more than a century of it. But a nagging problem threatened to prevent her from continuing to work for Direct Relief: her 15-year-old minivan, not so hardy as she, had begun to experience mechanical problems. Without a reliable car, volunteering could have become impossible.

In what can only be taken as a confirmation of the existence of karma, one of Kirchmaier’s fans stepped in to address her vehicular needs. Having gotten wind of the frequent breakdowns and repairs online, this mystery benefactor bought her a brand-new 2013 Honda Civic. Who knew the Internet was so nice?

“I’m touched by the generosity of an anonymous person who surprised me with a new car yesterday,” Kirchmaier posted on Facebook. “My friends at Direct Relief gave me a special parking spot for it. My new car fits in just right!”

It’s worth noting that Kirchmaier is not merely the state’s oldest driver, she’s also one of the best, boasting a spotless 86-year traffic record, without even a parking ticket to her name. She renewed her license this past January, acing the DMV’s tests. It just goes to show that not very much has changed about cars since the Ford Model T, which is what she learned to drive on. Really.

At any rate, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer or more deserving person. Happy driving, Edythe—we’ll see you on the freeway.

Photo via Direct Relief/Facebook

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*First Published: Aug 27, 2013, 1:45 pm CDT