Birthday celebrations bring friends, family

Getting another year older can sometimes be fun. A trio of area residents found out that birthdays are, indeed, something to be celebrated, occasions made sweeter by the presence of friends, family and loved ones. Whether the planners offer a big party, elegant reception or intimate dinner with dear friends, there is always room for a happy heart at seeing another year of living added to our belts.

Harriett Lee, 91

Harriette Lee celebrated her 91st birthday with a special dinner at Foothills Milling Company on Wednesday, Sept. 3, her actual birthday. Husband Ben gathered good friends and family at a special table at Foothills, and the group filled the air with merriment, conversation and memories.

Attending the celebration were Harriette’s daughter, Robin Goddard, and her husband, Jim, along with James Bloy and Marie Colvin.

The family also includes son David Lee and his wife, who live in Brentwood; and granddaughters Noel Goddard and Ginny Lee. Noel is a biophysicist at Hunter College in New York, and Ginny is working on her MBA at the University of Michigan.

Eunice Pannell, 90

Eunice Pannell was born Sept. 4, 1918, and celebrated her 90th birthday Saturday with a reception at her church, Alcoa Maryville Church of God. Crowd estimates varied, but more than 110 folks had signed in with an hour left to go on the party.

Eunice’s daughters and grandchildren kept the food and punch flowing, so everyone was having a good time. Eunice, who has lived most of her life in Blount County, has two daughters, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Eunice is a beautician and still works part time. She first worked at Roxie’s Beauty Shop, from 1939 until 1946 when she opened her own shop, Eunice’ Beauty Shop. She now lives in Shannondale Retirement Center, but customers come and pick her up before it is time to do their hair, take her to the salon and Eunice takes care of them. Sue Wade came by after she got off from her job at Food City, saying that she has been a customer and friend of Eunice’s for 48 years. Once a month, Sue picks Eunice up at Shannondale and takes her to the shop.

“It feels wonderful to have all these good people here, and I love every one of them,” Eunice said. “I do so appreciate my family for doing this, especially those who have come from out-of-state. It’s a wonderful, special day that I won’t forget.”

Janet Barham Ross, 50

Elvis came to see if Janet Barham Ross could still get “All Shook Up” on her 50th birthday party.

Janet was the guest of honor -- even ahead of “the King” -- at a celebration of her 50th birthday on Labor Day, Sept. 1. Good friends and family joined in the merriment, making the “national holiday” all about Janet!

Primary in putting the party together were Betty and Jerry Hurst and Sandra Carter. Janet was overwhelmed by the attendance. “I was hoping for 50 people since it was my 50th,” she said, “and 104 people attended! The outpouring of friends and family -- friends from church, from the school community, from the tennis community and the farming community -- it just meant so much. There were a lot of people there who really mean a lot to me.”

Among those enjoying the celebration at Smithview Pavilion were Janet’s husband, Thomas C. Ross; daughter, Halle Ross, 17; her parents, Earl and Jane Barham; siblings Linda Barham Davis from Nashville; Ray Barham from Maryville and John Barham from Louisville; and her mother-in-law, Agnes Ross.

Also in attendance was Craig Jones, who is a big Elvis fan and enjoyed the visit from the King.

“I had a really good time,” Janet said. “I wanted to really celebrate with my family, friends, flowers and cake while I could still enjoy and remember it!”

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