Jewel Bender has much to be thankful for. As her family gathered for their annual Thanksgiving feast, they also celebrated her 100th birthday. This year, her Nov. 23 birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving.
"That doesn't come very often," Bender said.
To mark the milestone, Bender's daughter, Barbara Fulton, held an open house Nov. 21 at her home on Red Oak Drive in Halfway. Friends, family and neighbors came and went throughout the late morning and afternoon bearing gifts, flowers and birthday greetings for the centenarian.
A special guest had much in common with Bender. Gladys Arnold turned 100 on Sept. 30. The two attended first grade together in Great Cacapon, W.Va.; Bender's aunt was their teacher.
Both went to Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) and became schoolteachers. They now live about five minutes away from each other in Washington County.