One of High River's best-known characters is celebrating her 90th birthday Wednesday.

Mary Campbell was the youngest child in a family of eleven with seven sisters and three brothers.

"My dad went to the hospital and then went celebrating. He went to Drumheller and decided he wanted to register me, and he decided he wanted to call me 'Evan Viviene'. My father painted nudes in Paris and was very artistic, " she says.

"When my mom said to my dad, Bill, why did you name her 'Evan Viviene'? We've all decided if it's a girl it's Mary Joan, Mary after the Blessed Mother and Joan for Joan of Arc, so I guess that got settled."

She worked at Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) in Drumheller but decided to transfer to Calgary where she worked for three weeks with a supervisor she didn't particularly like and decided to quit after finding a job at Gulf Oil.

"I only gave crabby bag at Alberta Government Telephone one week's notice, I said, 'I'm leaving' well she said I need two weeks and I said, 'You need a hundred years, it's time you retired,' I was a little cranky myself."

Mary says she met Lee Campbell on a blind date and after two weeks wished he would ask her to marry him because he was good looking and could really dance.

"We married in Drumheller, May 18th, 1957, there were 250 people there but only eight of his friends because he only had one sister and her name was Mary.

We lived in an apartment, but we didn't stay in there too long because we decided we were moving to High River."

Lou Bradley helped them find a place because he and Lee were close friends through the Ag Society.

They bought 20 acres along the Little Bow Creek where they adopted two children, a boy, Casey and a girl, Nora and then raised a couple of foster girls and John Cartwright came to live with them while he went to school.

She loved High River and the outdoor lifestyle.

"Jim Cartwright decided we should go for a ride out into the hills, ghee whiz, I thought 'Oh well I guess I'll make it,' I didn't know much about horseback riding, but I loved animals and horses so away we went. Well, a short ride was 13 miles, my legs were killing me and then I got bucked off."

Well-wishers can stop by the Museum of the Highwood Wednesday between 3:00 and 7:00 for a piece of birthday cake and to trade stories with Mary.