HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Hanover County had a lot to celebrate Thursday as they marked a major milestone for the residents who have been alive for more than a century.
The county threw its first-ever celebration for Centenarians, part of a “Finding Value in Your Prime Event.”
Nine of the county's Centenarians were recognized.
The birthday boys and girls were accompanied by family members who watched as their loved one's stories were shared.
Each Centenarian was given a cake, flower corsage, and framed certificate.
James Davis Sr., who was born and raised in Hanover, has been married for 74 years. He grew most of the vegetables on his family's farm and also served in the Navy during World War II.
His best advice started with a joke about staying young as long as you can before he shared more advice.
"Treat everyone the way that you want to be treated. Help you and help others and the nation will be blessed,” Davis said.
The event was an early celebration for Naomi White. She will turn 100 in August.
Her family shared how it had been such a blessing for God to let her live so long.
White loves being on her tablet and watches CBS 6, soap operas, and wrestling.
She also keeps her family in line and a big smile on her face.
Georgie Stephens, 102, earned a Chemistry degree from Virginia Union University and then went on to work at Howard University.
She loves to cook and be around her family and said to this day keeps learning.
“You need to stimulate the brain all the time. You just can’t take things for granted,” she said.
Hanover County hopes to make this an annual tradition as they continue to celebrate their citizens.
Margaret Buckley, who will turn 101 in June. She enjoys painting and selling greeting cards from her paintings. Other hobbies include reading, sewing, visiting with friends and going to church.
Georgie Stephens, currently 101. An Ashland native who received her degree in chemistry from Virginia Union, she was a chemist at Howard University Medical School. Moving back to Hanover County, she owned the Mobile store on the corner of Rt. 54 and I-95 from 1977 to 2004.
Jayne Paschall, who just turned 102. She was a pastor’s wife and is a breast cancer survivor of 43 years who still enjoys playing bridge, knitting, crossword puzzles, travel and attending church.
Charles Moore, 102. He served in the Navy during World War II and returned General Douglas McArthur from the Philippines traveling through the Panama Canal. He still enjoys game books and watching baseball and football on TV.
James Davis Sr., who will turn 100 on July 19. Another World War II veteran who served in the Navy, he has been married for 74 years to his wife Esther. His advice: “Stay young as long as you can. When you get old you can’t get young anymore.” Described as a ‘jokester’ by his family, he lived up to that description by adding another bit of advice: “Make sure you don’t get in the water unless you can swim!”
Ardenar Giles. A Hanover native, she taught Home Economics in the Hanover County school system for 44 years, beginning at John M. Gandy and continuing at Liberty Junior High School. She enjoys gardening, sewing, traveling, God’s Word and her family.
Naomi White, who will turn 100 in August. Ms. White is very ‘tech savvy’ – she talks to “Alexa”, plays games on her tablet and has an email and a Facebook page. She remains active: “I don’t even sit no more,” she said. She liked wrestling, at least until cheating became so prevalent. “She thinks she could put them down,” joked her daughter Geraldine Winston.
Marjorie M. Tucker, turning 102 next month. She is a lifelong resident of Hanover County and a member of the church in which the celebration was held, Fairmount Christian. She enjoys sewing, knitting, baking and entertaining visitors.
Laura Rice, who will be 103 in July. She was the co-field director for the National Campers and Hikers of American and played several sports including basketball and softball. She enjoys painting and traveling throughout the U.S. and has been to 14 countries.
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