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Moats celebrates 104th birthday with local family

November 08, 2004|by JANET HEIM

janeth@herald-mail.com

While the final results of the election were yet to be decided on Election Day, there was another event on Nov. 2 that was uncontested - Lena Mumma Batt Moats' 104th birthday.

Born in 1900, the former Hagerstown resident moved to Belen, N.M., about 25 years ago. Moats returned to Maryland with her daughter, Shirley Guessford, for a family celebration last week.

It took five days to drive the 2,000 miles from their home in New Mexico, with Guessford doing the driving.

Guessford said her mother has driven back to Maryland almost every year for the Mumma family reunion, a trip that used to take three days.

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"We're just roadrunners," Guessford said.

Moats' son, Foster Batt, and daughter, Marvene Spencer, as well as Moats' sister, Rosalie Childress, traveled from Florida for the celebration.

Moats is one of 17 children. Only three - Moats, Childress, 88, and Ardath Mullendore, 64, of Smithsburg - are still alive.

With three children, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, Moats was blessed with a gathering of family from Baltimore, California, New Mexico, Florida and neighboring states.

Moats worked at the Hagerstown Shoe factory for 40 years, where she belonged to the Quarter Century Club.

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