Two feted on National Centenarians Day

October 11, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - Emma Dillon said she thinks the secret of long life is being happy.

"And as long as I'm happy, I want to stay here," Emma said just two days after turning 100 years old at Williamsport Retirement Village.

A native of Indiana, Emma said she and her brother and sister moved around a lot when she was younger because her father was not only a contractor but also a Bible worker.

"I worked in nursing for about 30 years," she said.

Emma added that she thinks she has been living in Maryland for the last 30 years but she isn't sure.

Married twice, she never had any children of her own but adopted two children.

"I don't watch television much anymore - I watched enough the last 50 years," she said.

Also new to the 100-year club at Williamsport Retirement Village is Virginia Crim whose birthday was July 7.


According to her daughter, Phyllis Mummert, Virginia came to Williamsport Retirement Village about five years ago.

"She had lived by herself in Bedington, W.Va., since 1955," Mummert said, noting that her mother is the oldest member of the Bedington United Methodist Church.

Widowed at the age of 36 with three children ages 5, 7 and 9, Virginia had to learn to drive a car for the first time, Mummert said.

Over the years, Virginia worked at National Fruit in Martinsburg, The Lace Store and then at Towers Restaurant until she was well into her 80s.

On Sept. 22, Williamsport Retirement Village recognized Virginia and Emma by giving them a chance to discuss their memories, which often were filled with historical information.

Julianna Albowicz, assistant to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, presented a senatorial certificate to each woman at that celebration.

National Centenarians Day was created by Williamsport Retirement Village in 1995. It is celebrated on Sept. 22, because it's 100 days before the end of the year.

The day is celebrated at the retirement village with fanfare each year by the residents, their friends and family, usually with a program and cake.

To help celebrate National Centenarians Day, the staff at Williamsport Retirement Village has created a Party Pak - complete with the history of the day, stickers, balloons, a party pin, confetti and party ideas.

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