Cody Splitt arrived at her 100th birthday party in style, rolling up to the Appleton Yacht Club in a limousine, and greeted by fellow female veterans with a salute.
She served the country during World War II, as one of the first class of women to serve in the U.S. Navy.
It was during her time serving in Washington, D.C. that the G.I. Bill was passed, meaning that she would earn education money through her service.
Splitt says she remembers the day the bill passed in Congress.
That night, she says she told her date about her plans to attend law school.
“And I said: ‘I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, and I’ll go to law school the minute this is over,'” she remembers saying, “‘this has got to end, and when it ends, I’m heading for law school.’ And he looked at me and said: ‘A woman lawyer?'”
Sitting on the deck of the Appleton Yacht Club, Splitt laughed at the memory and added, “We’re talking 1944, you know.”
Splitt was one of only five women in her class at UW Law School.
After graduating, she and her husband moved to Appleton, where she opened the second woman-owned law firm in Outagamie County.
Splitt went on to serve on the Outagamie County Board and was elected as the first female president of the Outagamie County Bar Association.
When asked about her secret to a long life, Splitt credited her doctors but says she doesn’t have any secret in particular.
“Tell you the truth, I’ve just done anything I wanted to do, from the day I started ’til today,” she said. “It’s just been a wonderful life, every minute of it.”