Evelyn Branch is having a birthday party – a big one.

The lifelong Leavenworth resident will turn 100 years old Oct. 28.

Family and friends are holding a birthday party for Branch from 3-7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church, 1708 Fifth Ave.

The birthday party is free and open to the public.

“I am looking forward to reaching that 100th birthday,” she said. “I have a lot of good family and friends. I hope they come.”

The birthday celebration will include cake, praise dancers, singers and words of reflection from family and friends.

“Her health is pretty good,” said Janielle Brown-Union, Branch’s great-granddaughter. “But she’s getting up there in age.”

Branch was born in Leavenworth on Oct. 28, 1917. She has lived in Leavenworth all of her life.

“I love my little city,” she said.

She was married to James Branch for 49 years before he died in 1980.

They had one child, four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

Evelyn Branch was a housewife and a Sunday school teacher. Her hobbies included cooking, canning, gardening and family.

She now is living at the Lansing Care and Rehabilitation Center, but visited her longtime home on Shawnee Street this week.

She sat at the kitchen table looking at photos from several generations of her family.

“It’s amazing to go over the old pictures, reminisce and see how the family has grown,” she said.

Branch said the key to living a long life is simple.

“I don’t smoke, drink or cuss,” she said. “I try to live a good life and be civil, treat people I like I want to be treated.”

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