100 years and counting

Turning 100 is a milestone to be celebrated and bragged about.

An accomplishment of living that long, is a feat that not many have had the chance to see.

One such person to be counted among the centenarians–a rare population of individuals who reach 100 years or more–is Hester Lee, or Heady as she is known to her family.

Lee turned 100 on July 13.

Her family celebrated this milestone on July 15 in the Riverchase: Health and Rehabilitation Center where Lee has been living since December of 2022.

The cafeteria was adorned in pink and silver garnishes and filled to the brim with family and friends coming together to celebrate.

“No one in our family has lived that long,” said Lee’s niece, Margot Keaton. “We have to Celebrate.”

Keaton said Lee had never had a birthday party before and she deserved one that was lavish.

Keaton and her daughter came to Quincy from California for this occasion and to orchestrate the event, calling up everyone they knew to attend.

Members of the family made food and served up a buffet while showering Lee with gifts and even leaving a large cake for the residents of Riverchase to enjoy as well.

Thelma Powell, Lee’s younger sister, took care of her for five years before she was moved to Riverchase.

Powell said her family has always been close and she maintained continuous contact with her sister.

Powell said she hates not being able to take care of her sister herself with how much love and care Lee gave to her siblings, practically raising them.

Powell said that Lee was excited about reaching this life marker.

“She said ‘Oh Thelma I done made 100,’” Powell shared.

Her secret to making it this far is her philosophy to ‘just keep going and you’ll make it,’ which she said was taught to her by her mother.

Her sister is now trying to make it to this milestone as well, she said loved how much the family was doing for her. 

“We are here because we love you,” Powell said as she wished her sister many more years of a happy and healthy life.

Summer Batten – Gadsden County News Service


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