In 1912 the Titanic sank, Fenway Park opened and the Girl Scouts of America was founded. A loaf of bread cost 5 cents, a first-class stamp was 2 cents and a gallon of gas was 7 cents.
Forty-six centenarians, born in 1912, were honored at Delaware County’s 10th annual Centenarian Birthday Luncheon on Wednesday, May 8, at the Drexelbrook Events Center in Upper Darby.
The eldest celebrant, Nancy Fisher of Manor Care Yeadon, will turn 108 on Dec. 23. Fisher, who grew up in Goochland County, Va., is the last surviving of her siblings. She is the youngest of 11 children. Fisher has one son, Daniel Culbreth, 86, who still lives in Goochland. Fisher attributed her long life to her faith in Jesus. Fisher attended the luncheon with her goddaughter Shirley Brown of Yeadon, friend Je Brinkley, and her nephew, Joseph Hayden.
“Her number one priority is her faith,” Hayden said. “She’s worn out nine Bibles and she loves reading it. In addition to reading her Bible she eats garlic every day and she drinks more water than I can drink in a day.”
Established in 2002 by the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging, the centenarian luncheon is just one of the highlights of Older Americans month in May. The entertainment was provided by the choral concert presented by the Worrall Elementary School third-grade chorus in the Marple Newtown School District.
This year’s centenarian luncheon hosted two World War II veterans: Sarah Nader, a veteran of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), of Granite Farms Estates in Middletown; and Frank Corr, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who now lives at Rose Tree Place in Upper Providence.
Nader was born in Houtzdale, Clearfield County. Until a few years ago, she was a master at table tennis. She served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1945, starting out as a private and advanced to first sergeant. She received the American Service Medal, WAC service ribbon, victory medal, good conduct medal and the American theater ribbon.
She turned 100 the day of the luncheon. Nader was presented with a resolution from Governor Tom Corbett, delivered by David Gingrich, deputy secretary of the State Department of Aging. Sarah.
Corr, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, served in the U.S. Navy. He worked at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia, and later at Winston Publishing Co. where he retired in 1976. He will turn 100 on September 30.
Another amazing survivor, Serge Koolish, turned 106 in March. He was born in the Ukraine and spent three years as a war prisoner in Germany during World War II. He lives in his own home in Brookhaven.
“Words can’t express how proud we are of these remarkable centenarians,” said Tom McGarrigle, county council chairman. “All of these senior citizens have so much wisdom and experience to share with us. It is truly an honor and an inspiration for us to recognize them today.”
Other centenarians who were honored at the luncheon included: James Alexander of Chester who was a member of Bethany Baptist Church for 78 years where he sang in the men’s choir,
Margaret Benson, who lives independently in her own apartment in St. David’s, and Ella Mae Gale, was a nurse who worked in pediatric care at Delaware County Hospital.
Although there were 46 senior citizens at the event, Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging Planner Barbara Nicolardi said officials identified a total of 138 seniors who are 100 years of age or older in the county. Those who were unable to attend the luncheon will receive flowers and proclamations at their residences.