PITTSBURG -- Not every fan of "Dr. Phil" receives a bouquet of birthday roses from the man himself.
But then not every fan is celebrating a 112th birthday, which is what Pittsburg resident Opal Thompson did Sunday with a family dinner to mark the occasion at Mimi's Cafe in Antioch. On Saturday, Thompson received the flowers and a call from Dr. Phil and his wife, Robin McGraw, said her great-niece, Glenda Coccimiglio of Martinez.
"She was in heaven. She got to talk to Dr. Phil and Robin," Coccimiglio said.
Thompson is the 28th oldest person in the world, the 11th oldest in the United States, and is believed to be the third-oldest person in California, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which keeps tabs on these things.
"She also ranks as the second-oldest 'Thompson' in the world, after Elsie Thompson, 113, of Clearwater, Fla. But she is the oldest living 'Opal,' " Robert Young, senior database administrator for the Gerontology Research Group, wrote in an email.
Soledad Mexia, a resident of Chula Vista in San Diego County who is 113 years old, is the oldest person California.
One of 12 children, Thompson was born Jan. 13, 1901, in Indian Territory that later became Oklahoma. Before moving to Pittsburg, she lived in Long Beach, where she worked as a waitress and in a health food store. She was married to a professional wrestler.
Thompson has been a resident of the Diamond Ridge Healthcare Center nursing home for five years.
"She is as healthy as a little horse. She's very lively," Coccimiglio said. "When we take her out to restaurants, she eats more than all of us."
On her birthday outing Sunday, she was in the mood for waffles, said Coccimiglio.
Since 2006, Thompson's family has taken her on birthday outings to Los Angeles to be in the studio audience for the "Dr. Phil" show. And for the show's 1,000th episode in February 2010, Thompson appeared as a guest.
But Thompson did not go to see a taping of "Dr. Phil" last year, and there are no plans to make the trip this year. Which is where the birthday flowers and phone call come in.
"They've always remembered and make her feel very special," Coccimiglio said.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.