It was a joyous occasion when family and friends gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ruth Elizabeth Hopson on Nov. 25. Evviva Restaurant in Narberth, Pa .was the setting for the elegant celebration. Hopson, who is beautiful inside and out, is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia.
It was a fabulous surprise party planned with love and attention to detail by her four daughters and son-in-law.
The former Ruth Elizabeth Waugh was born on Nov. 25, 1912. She is the daughter of the late Irene and Edward Waugh and lived in the city’s South Philadelphia neighborhood. The family later moved to West Philadelphia where she made lifelong friends, many of whom celebrated with her at the 100th birthday luncheon.
Hopson was married to the love of her life, the late Charles O. Hopson, for 74 years.
The afternoon began with cocktails and buttered hor’doures. Guests mingled while enjoying smooth jazz by the Coyle Brothers Ensemble. A delicious luncheon followed in the main ballroom. The Rev. Sadie T. Mitchell of the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas offered the Invocation and blessed the meal.
Guests were treated to a selection of mouth watering entrees. A delicious cake, referred to “Three Friends,” baked by the confectioners at Sweet Elizabeth’s in Manayunk, followed. Hopson’s four daughters: Joyce Clark, Merle Hopson, Carla Tyson and Barbara Gorgas gathered symbolically and blew the candles out for their mother after the traditional birthday serenade.
Between courses everyone enjoyed musical selections from each decade of the last century. The selections were performed by Dr. Jerry Shapiro on his accordion.
Some of those “Out & About” enjoying the celebration included: Mary Waugh, Hopson’s sister, and her daughter Patricia Waugh, Joan and Julie Geiger, Cheryl and Louis Biron with their children Alexander and Genevieve, James and Debbie Mckee, Benes and Andrea Lawrence, Stanley and Cindy Hopson with their children Andrew, Clay and Avery, Mercedes Saddler, Connie Stokes, Magnolia Highsmith, Janis Smith, Doris Dickstein and Guy and Judy Booth.
Son-in-law Rob Gorgas prepared a presentation of things past and present. He displayed articles such as baby shoes circa 1912 compared to today’s baby sneakers and a vintage bellow camera circa 1919 in contrast to today’s cell phone.
There were many toasts to honor this fashionable lady and loving mother who has been a member of St. Thomas for more than 30 years. The always socially conscious homemaker was instrumental in the founding of Jack & Jill of America Inc., Bucks County Chapter, with daughter Barbara Gorgas.
During the celebration greetings and acknowledgements were read. The first was a letter from the national weatherman Willard Scott followed by a proclamation from Councilwoman Janie Blackwell.
Finally, a very special card personally signed by President Barak Obama was presented. It read: Happy 100th birthday! We wish you the very best on this momentous occasion. You have witnessed great milestones in our Nation’s history, and your life represents an important part of the American story. As you reflect upon a century of memories, we hope that you are still with tremendous pride and joy. Congratulations on your Birthday, and may you enjoy many more happy years as a centenarian.
Sincerely, Barack Obama
The benediction was offered by the Rev. Father, Martini Shaw, Rector of The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. In a beautiful, spiritual ceremony Rev. Shaw blessed Mrs. Hopson with the laying of hands and sprinkling of holy water.
This was a perfect ending to an amazing day. God bless you Ruth Elizabeth Hopson!
• • •
Happy Birthday to another very special lady, Elaine Evans DeVaughn, who celebrated her Nov. 1 birthday during the weekend with close friends and fellow members of CARATS Inc., Philadelphia Chapter. Shawn Alexandra Graham hosted the fabulous surprise party complete with live music, delicious cuisine, champagne toasts and rose petals at entryway!
When Elaine’s husband, Louis DeVaughn, surprised her with a weeklong birthday trip in Paris, little did she know there was more in store. Some of those joining the celebration were Claudia Averette Williams, Mae Hadfield, Joyce Matthews, Brenda Willingham and Beverly Richards.
Have a fantastic week “Out & About” everyone!