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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
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Happy 3rd century cake

 Welcome Centenarians
to Your 3rd Century!

Text from

Local centenarians welcome millennium
Health, love of life keeping
these folks going into 2000
By Janie Magruder
The Arizona Republic

It was her 105th New Year's Eve, and Merle Cornoyer McEatbron was ready with a toast.

"Here's to you and here's to me, and may we never disagree," the smiling centenarian said, raising a glass of sparking cider. "But if we do, here's to me."

Born July 31, 1895, the 104-year-old McEathron was the eldest of 10 centenarians who gathered Friday afternoon to usher out their second century of life and welcome in a third.

Instead of blowing horns at midnight, the nine women and one man, surrounded by family and friends, gazed at a picture-perfect Arizona sunset, the last of 1999.

Living beyond 100 is something to be revered, said Lynn Peters Adler, the party's hostess and head of the National Centenarian Awareness Project.
"It's my hope for the new year that people will get to know our older citizens and benefit from their memories, their perspective and their love of life," Adler said.

Centenarians gather to welcome the new millennium
(Photo courtesy of Lynn Peters Adler)

Centenarian party goers: (front, from left) Florence Thiel, Lenore Schaeffer, Ruth Jacobson, Merle Cornoyer McEathron, George Freestone, Emma Urie; (back, from left) Myrna Webb, Minnie O'Donnell, Marguerite Hitchens; hostess Lynn Adler is in the back row.  

And what memories they are. George Freestone of Tempe recalls Orville and Wilbur Wright's first airplane flight in 1903 near Kitty Hawk, N.C. Freestone, now 101, became a pilot himself.

Florence Thiel, who never married but devoted her life to teaching other people's children, remembered the Titanic sinking in 1912. She's also 101.

Lenore Schaeffer, a 103-year-old ballroom dancer, liked silent movies as a child. She loved getting the right to vote in 1920 more.

Myrna Webb devoted 57 years to her late husband, Charles, whose sister she met while working in a West Virginia hospital. He was in the cavalry in Wyoming, and Webb wrote to him for two years, met him, then married him five days later.

"We never had a fuss in our lives because if I would get mad, I'd sing, and he'd say, 'Children, we'd better take a walk. Your mother's singing again,'" the 102-year-old said.

Minnie O'Donnell, who traveled west from Arkansas at age 6 in a covered wagon, marveled at the advent of trains, planes and spaceships. A mall walker five days a week, O'Donnell, 102, is counting on her feet to keep taking her places this year.

"I'm ready for whatever comes," she said.

More pics from the party...

Centenarians gather to welcome the new millennium
It was a sunny last day of the 20th century for these centenarians, gathered at the home of Lynn Peters Adler, founder of the National Centenarian Awareness Project, to welcome the new millennium.

Ready for cake!

Lenore Schaeffer, Ruth Jacobson, Merle McEathron, George Freestone and Emma Urie are going to have their cake and eat it, too, as they ready to usher in the new millennium.

Centenarians party goers

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