Sarah Nance celebrates 100 years

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Manila Mayor Clifford Veach presents Sarah Nance with a special proclamation on her 100th birthday. Also pictured is Mrs. Nance's daughter, Gwen Harrison. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Sarah Nance of Manila was honored on her 100th birthday Monday with a party at the Manila Housing Authority community room. Friends and family gathered to wish her a happy birthday and share in her special day. Mrs. Nance woke up to a six foot blowup birthday cake outside of her apartment.

Mrs. Nance was born May 8, 1906, at Gun Point, Miss. She was one of five children born to John and Ella Beasley. She moved to Manila when she was 14 years old. She said she can remember the train trip bringing her to her new home in Arkansas.

She married Herman Nance in 1922. Mr. Nance passed away in 1975.

"Like everyone else, we worked hard to make a living," Mrs. Nance said.

Mrs. Nance said she has spent some time working in the cotton patch. The family would also go to Michigan and work in the fruit harvest.

She has seen a lot of changes in her 100 years. When asked her secret to living 100 years she summed it up by saying, "God is my secret."

Mr. and Mrs. Nance had four children. Gwen Harrison lives in Manila. Three children are deceased. They are Jr. Nance of Manila, Jimmy Nance of Leachville, and Jean Defur of Manila.

Mrs. Nance has 13 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Among the guests were her great-granddaughter and family, John and Jenny Barton, and daughters, Pamela and Glenna, of Keiser; former Manila residents Bobby and Aleta Nowlin of Blytheville, daughter-in-law Mary Nance, grandson Mark Nance of Leachville, great-grandson Bobby Parry of Manila, friends, family members and neighbors.

Mrs. Nance has lived at the Manila Housing Authority for 37 years. She lived in the same apartment for 36 years moving to a newly remodeled apartment last year.

"I was a little worried about her moving after all of these years, but she had no problem moving and loves her newly remodeled apartment," Juanita Blevins, Housing Authority director, said. "She is a model resident and is amazing at 100 years old."

Her next door neighbor is Richard Laird. He is like a guardian angel to Mrs. Nance. He keeps a close eye on her and makes sure her heating and air conditioning is right for her.

Guests enjoyed refreshments, punch and cake. The community room was decorated and the large birthday cake was made by Teresa Fleeman of Manila. Hostesses for the party included Gail Chipman, Nila Blevins, Wanda Deeds and Kay Barker.

Mrs. Nance opened gifts and received a one hundred dollar bill in honor of her 100th birthday.

Manila Mayor Clifford Veach presented a proclamation in honor of her 100th birthday. He presented her with the signed proclamation along with his personal birthday wishes.

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