Newton, NC (PRWEB) January 28, 2013
Ilene Edwards, a resident at Abernethy Laurels Retirement Community in Newton, recently celebrated her 104th birthday surrounded by her closest family members including her only living sibling, an 87 year old sister who also lives at Abernethy Laurels.
"It's not every day that someone in my family turns 104 years old. Ilene is a true inspiration to our family, and it's not just because she's 104. We believe that she's also the oldest breast cancer survivor in North Carolina," stated Tony Stutts, Edwards' nephew.
In 1909, the year Edwards was born, the American flag only had 45 stars, the average wage per hour was 22 cents, and only 6 percent of Americans had graduated high school. Edwards, however, didn't settle for the status quo.
In 1927, Edwards graduated as valedictorian of her senior class at Sherrill's Ford High School in Sherrill's Ford, NC. Her education didn't stop there. Edwards continued her studies at Appalachian State School, now known as Appalachian State University, where she majored in primary education. She then returned back to her hometown of Sherrill's Ford, NC where she taught third grade at what is now Sherrill's Ford Elementary School for a number of years.
Coincidently, as Edwards recently celebrated 104 years of life, the students at Sherrill's Ford Elementary School in Catawba County were approaching the 104th day of school. With Edwards having strong ties to the Sherrill's Ford community, a brief conversation led Sherrill's Ford Elementary School Principal Shelly Black to have an idea that would help students at her school with a current lesson plan and honor the former student and educator at the school, Edwards.
Via Skype, students in Cynthia Field's third grade class at Sherrill's Ford Elementary wished Edwards a happy birthday with songs and banners. Edwards explained to the students what it was like growing up in the early 1900's and shared some of her fondest childhood memories. Edwards, who still wears her college class ring, encouraged the students in Field's third grade class to stay focused on their studies and never settle for anything less than their best.
Abernethy Laurels, a not-for-profit retirement community in Newton, NC takes pride in its history and tradition of excellence. While the community offers a wide range of first-rate amenities, it is surprisingly affordable. For more information, visit http://www.abernethylaurels.org or call toll free 877-637-7941 or 828-465-8552.