Washington County honors centenarians

November 07, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Gladys Arnold, a retired English teacher, remembers that Jack Mesner didn't like to give oral book reports when he was in her seventh-grade class. She remembers that he was a well-behaved, good student.

"He was an ideal student," Arnold recalled. "Oh, I enjoyed teaching. Back in those days, it was easy. I was in charge."

They were sharing memories Monday at the Second Annual Centenarians Luncheon. Arnold was one of seven guests of honor, having celebrated her 100th birthday Sept. 30, 2006.

The luncheon was hosted by the Washington County Commission on Aging/Area Agency on Aging.

This was Arnold's first year to attend. Mesner came as Arnold's guest.

It was also Raymond Little's first time, since his 100th birthday was Sept. 18. He and Mary Bartles, who turned 100 on Oct. 7, were the "babies of the group," said Hannah Cramer, deputy director for the COA.


Little said he was enjoying the meal, but it was more food than he's used to.

"I'm an old man, I can't eat as much as I used to," he said.

Surrounded by family and friends, the centenarians were treated to lunch at the COA office on Franklin Street. NBC-25 meteorologist Ian Hall served as master of ceremonies.

The Sophisti'Cats Show Choir of Williamsport High School provided entertainment - singing and dancing to song titles and lyrics such as "Celebrate," "Best Years of Our Lives" and "When I Get the Blues, Gonna Get Me a Rocking Chair."

Presentations were made by Donna Smith, a representative of the Maryland Office on Aging in Baltimore; Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval; and Ed Branthaver, president of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council.

"It's an honor ... to celebrate and pay tribute to Maryland's treasured centenarians ... As centenarians, you all are role models and an inspiration to us all," Smith said.

The birthday celebration ended with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" and birthday cake for dessert.

"I'd like to see everybody here next year. It was a lovely party," Arnold concluded.

2007 Washington County Centenarians

· Gladys Arnold Sept. 30, 1906

· Mary Bartles Oct. 7, 1907

· Dorothy Carlisle Sept. 6, 1904

· Mary Forsythe April 27, 1905

· Vera Jay Dec. 23, 1904

· Raymond Little Sept. 18, 1907

· Catharine Schmidt May 31, 1905

· Ethel Seibert Nov. 18, 1906

· Anis Sisler Jan. 31, 1904

· Autumn Swing (not available)

· Alice Varner Sept. 12, 1906

Please note that there might be more centenarians in Washington County than the agency is aware of whose names should be included in its records. For next year, help the agency complete this list by notifying it of any eligible individuals. Call the Washington County Commission on Aging at 301-790-0275.

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