Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund helps three residents celebrate their 100th birthdays


Clockwise from top left are Ms. Armstrong, Ms. Deal and Ms. Gates. (Submitted photos)

By Kristi Henson Owens
Executive Director, Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund

What a blessing to have experienced 100 years of life... to have seen so many things, walked so many miles, loved for so many years, smiled and laughed so much, held so many new lives in your arms and been able to share your experiences with so many.

In 2017, Golden Cross Senior Residents Fund has sponsored three 100th birthday parties for senior residents living in Wesley Living communites.
  • Ms. Gates, a resident at Wesley Graceland Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, turned 100 on Valentine’s Day and celebrated with a requested Mardi Gras-themed party, complete with beads, masks, a New Orleans photo backdrop and a live band. Surrounded by family, friends, neighbors and community staff, she shared stories of how she used to pick cotton in the fields and could out-pick her baby brother (who joined in the festivities at the young age of 97). Ms. Gates wanted a buffet-style lunch with all of her favorites: chicken wings, cheese, punch and cupcakes.
  • Ms. Deal celebrated her 100th birthday at Wesley at Murray / Wesley Murray Meadows in Murray, Kentucky, with a Roaring 20s-themed party. Ms. Deal turned 100 on April 22. The mayor of Murray, Jack Rose, and Calloway County Executive Judge Larry Elkins celebrated with Ms. Deal’s family and her community neighbors. Not wanting a lot of food for her celebration, Ms. Deal requested “sweet treats” that included chocolate, strawberry cake and an assortment of mini-cheesecakes. Ms. Deal never stops surprising her family, announcing to her daughter (only after the fact) that she had gone whitewater rafting for the first time in her 80s.
  • Ms. Armstrong celebrated her 100th birthday on June 19 with a luau-themed party at St. Peter Manor in Memphis, Tennessee, where she is a resident. When asked what she wanted for her party, Ms. Armstrong replied, “Bright colors with chocolate cupcakes and white icing." There also was punch and an assortment of fresh fruit. Family members Ms. Armstrong had not seen in 50 years arrived to help her celebrate her birthday.
All three birthday residents received a “Golden Cross Century Birthday Club” blanket and large WES Bear to cuddle. 

The offices of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland each sent a proclamation to Ms. Gates and Ms. Armstrong in recognition of their special days. Ms. Deal was hand-presented a proclamation from Murray, Kentucky, Mayor Jack Rose.