Washington County Commission on Aging honors centenarians

November 14, 2008|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN -- While the news of the economic downturn continues to make headlines, the honorees at Thursday's Centenarian Luncheon and Recognition Ceremony all lived through the Depression and are proof positive that better times are ahead.

"I'm just a little old man. I'm over 100 years old, you know," said Raymond Little, 101, who also attended last year's ceremony.

"You can't keep a good man down," said his son, Francis Little.

The luncheon was the third annual event that the Washington County Commission on Aging has held for county centenarians. They have identified 18 residents who qualify for the honor. Raymond Little is the only man.

Following a social time, Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval started the program with a welcome and introductions. Also in attendance were John F. Barr, president of the Washington County Commissioners; Bill Beard, president of the Commission on Aging's board of directors; and Julianna Albowicz, representing U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.


Guests were treated to a luncheon at the festively decorated Commission on Aging office on West Franklin Street, then serenaded by Sentimental Sounds, the husband-wife team of Jack and Donna Kaye Haines. Birthday cake was served for dessert after a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" was sung.

At 104, Dorothy Carlisle had the distinction of being the oldest guest present. She was concerned that Wednesday's discovery that she had an eye infection might mean having to miss the event.

"I thought, 'I can't miss this. I have to go,'" Carlisle said.

She said she remains active in the Homewood Auxiliary, where she lives, and credits her long life to keeping busy.

Mildred Sellers, who turned 100 in June, attended with her son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Scherry Sellers. They attributed Mildred's longevity to being a hard worker all her life.

She started working at the Troy Laundry when she was 13, having lied about her age to get the job. Ralph Sellers said his mother always put the needs of others before her own.

Kercheval said he always is inspired by the honorees.

"Each year, I walk out of here feeling good," he said. "They're very sharp, well enabled, living quality lives. The perspective they must have on the world ... spending time with them helps enlighten me."

The following are the 18 Washington County centenarians, as identified by the Washington County Commission on Aging.

  • Gladys Arnold -- Sept. 30, 1906

  • Mary Bartles -- Oct. 7, 1907

  • Dorothy Carlisle -- Sept. 6, 1904

  • Marie Crunkleton -- March 9, 1908

  • Lola Culler -- Oct. 25, 1908

  • Emma Dillon -- Oct. 7, 1906

  • Mary Forsythe -- Apr. 27, 1905

  • Ida Grimes -- Feb. 16, 1905

  • Alice Hoffmaster -- July 2, 1908

  • Vera Jay -- Dec. 23, 1904

  • Raymond Little -- Sept. 18, 1907

  • Violet Michaels -- Dec. 9, 1907

  • Dorothy Mullen -- Nov. 16, 1906

  • Catharine Schmidt -- May 31, 1905

  • Ethel Seibert -- Nov. 18, 1906

  • Mildred Sellers -- June 17, 1908

  • Anis Sisler -- Jan. 31, 1904

  • Ruby Staley -- June 8, 1908

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