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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Resident honored on 100th birthday

  • Eletha Wilson said she has seen a lot of changes in Leavenworth since she was a child.
    The lifelong resident of the city celebrated her 100th birthday Monday. And Leavenworth Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre proclaimed Monday as "Centenarian Eletha B. Wilson Day."
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  • Eletha Wilson said she has seen a lot of changes in Leavenworth since she was a child.
    The lifelong resident of the city celebrated her 100th birthday Monday. And Leavenworth Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre proclaimed Monday as "Centenarian Eletha B. Wilson Day."
    Wilson was thrown a surprise birthday party Monday at Hillcrest Manor, where she's lived since 1981. She's said to be the first resident of the facility, which offers housing for senior citizens and people with disabilities.
    Wilson said she was so happy after being surprised with the party that she hardly knew what to say.
    "This has been a blessing," she said.
    Wilson said living in Leavenworth when she was a child was like living in the country.
    "Leavenworth has changed a great deal," she said.
    Family members said Wilson lived on Third Avenue while growing up.
    Shirley Miller, who is Wilson's daughter, said her mother has never smoked or drank alcohol, and she's never had major health problems.
    In addition to being a lifelong resident of Leavenworth, Wilson is is lifelong member of the Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church. She also recently was honored by the church.
    Miller said one of her mother's former classmates turned 100 last month.
    "They graduated high school together," Miller said.
    In addition to reading a city proclamation Monday, Gasbarre presented Wilson a key to the city.
    "This is a great day," Gasbarre said.
    The mayor also was asked to read a letter from President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama that honored Wilson.
    "We are grateful for your contribution to the American story," the Obamas stated in the letter.
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