Celebrating Centuries

Two mark 100 years, another celebrates 111

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The new year has been a year of celebration for three Blount County women -- and it’s not yet two months old! Two women who live at Alterra Sterling House and one woman at the Health Care Center at Shannondale have passed the century mark in birthdays.

Marion Stout at Shannondale passed it 11 years ago.

On Jan. 31, Marion celebrated her 111 birthday. She is thought to be the oldest person in Tennessee. Marion lived alone in Knoxville until she was 103, when she moved in with her daughter, Catherine Beals, in Knoxville. Marion was the guest of honor at a party at Shannondale on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

At Alterra Sterling, Frances Grey and Lela Cruze celebrated their 100th birthdays with a joint party. The party was on Monday, Jan. 29.

Frances was born Jan. 29, 1907 in Florida. Her daughter, Betty McKinnon, son-in-law Ron and grandson, Scott, live in Maryville.

On her birthday, Frances had her below-the-shoulder gray hair cut for Locks of Love. Photographs of the hair cut will be in next week’s Blount Today.

Lela Cruze was born on Jan. 27, 1907 in Grainger County. Her niece and nephew Adrienne and Colin Valentine helped her celebrate her special day.

The Stubbs Sisters singers came to Alterra to help with the celebration, a gift arranged by Teresa Steen from Calvary Community Church. They were accompanied by their children, who took time to give birthday hugs to the two birthday ladies.

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