Surrounded by friends and family, Ethel Keith Ashford celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday at the Webb House Retirement Center, where she is now a resident.
"I'm older than good", she replied as Ms. Ashford's son, Randall Keith asked her to tell WJLE how old she is. Later when she was asked by Lora Webb, Ms Ashford proudly boasted "Yeah, I'm a hundred today."
Donning a birthday party hat, Ms. Ashford was treated to a birthday cake, punch, flowers and balloons in observance of the happy occasion.
She was even asked to recite a poem for WJLE which she first learned as a child in 1925 called " January Brings The Snow"
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes sharp and shrill,
Shakes the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lillies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Brown October brings the pheasant,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves go whirling past.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.
"Mama was always active in the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club," said Ms Ashford's daughter Jean Parkerson. "She is also a member of the Eastern Star. She has also been active in the senior citizens programs. She loves dancing. She used to love to play cards. She is just a sociable person," said Parkerson.
In addition to son and daughter Randall Keith and Jean Parkerson, Ms. Ashford has another son, Wayne Keith who lives in Florida. Ms. Ashford is a grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother.
"She was one of thirteen children," added Ms. Ashford's son Randall Keith. "Her daddy was Dennis Tramel. They were farm folks. As of this date, she has lived longer than any of her siblings or parents. She has a brother and sister left out of the thirteen and they are age 85 and 92. Most of her siblings died in their 80's or 90's. They all have enjoyed a long life. We're really thankful we've had her this long," said Keith.