Chapin woman, 103, calls wrong number, makes new friend

Nina Percival, right, with Kim Sullivan. 

A mistake that made two women richer. 

Nina Percival thought she was calling her granddaughter Pam, but the 103-yer-old who lives at the Lowman retirement home in Chapin, actually called the wrong number.

Kim Sullivan, of Beaufort, was the person on the other end of the line. After figuring out that Percival had mis-dialed, she apologized and said, “Oh I’m sorry, you’ll have to excuse me. You know, I am 103 years old.” And so it began.

The two introduced themselves and ended up having about a 15 minute conversation.

She reminded me so much of my own mom, who passed away about three years ago,” said Sullivan.

Percival and Sullivan talked about their families and figured out that Percival actually knew of some of Sullivan’s family, who is originally from Newberry County.

I don’t know why exactly, but I just felt like I had to meet her in person. She was just so sweet,” said Sullivan. So Sullivan drove to the retirement home Monday afternoon to meet Percival in person.

I told her I was going to be coming to see her,” said Sullivan

Percival is from Paxville but now resides at The Heritage at Lowman, a retirement home in Chapin. She’s been there for the past nine years.

Memories of the people in Percival’s life. (Photos submitted.)

I have no complaints for this place, they are just so good to you. I still feed myself, but if I can’t see it I’ll just pick it up with my fingers and it’s a surprise to taste whatever it is,” said Percival.

She says she likes to walk the halls at least once every day, and is capable of getting up and walking around on her own.

While the two were visiting, Sullivan asked for a picture. Granting the request, but first Percival wanted to take a minute to fix her hair, do her makeup, and put on her earrings and necklace. She also still paints her own fingernails and toenails.

Percival said she was thrilled to meet Sullivan, and said she couldn’t believe she really came to visit from Beaufort. They talked about family, The Bible, and Percival told stories from when she was young.

I really think she brightened my day so much when she made that call to me that I just wanted to brighten hers,” said Sullivan.

Percival was born in 1914, and married DuPre Percival when she was 23-years-old. They dated for only two months. She was married for 35 years until DuPre passed away in 1972.

Percival has three children, five grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

When asked about how it feels being 103 years old, Percival said, “My mind isn’t what it used to be. But, well, I take it as it comes.”

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