"Granny" Nance turns 102

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Sarah "Granny" Nance had several family members present for her 102 birthday celebration. Pictured with Mrs. Nance (center) are, from left: Bobby Parry, great-grandson; Mary Nance, daughter-in-law, Dorothy "Gwen" Harrison, daughter. Standing - Brenda Parry, granddaughter, Johnny and Jenny Barton, great-granddaughter and husband; and Margie Nance, granddaughter-in-law. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

(Editor's note: Mrs. Nance celebrated her 102 birthday on Thursday, May 8 and she was honored as the oldest mother at the Manila Nursing Center's Mother's Day tea on Friday, May 9. She died on Sunday, May 11, 2008. Arrangements will be announced by Howard Funeral Service of Manila.)

Sarah "Granny" Nance celebrated her 102 birthday on Thursday, May 8, at the Manila Nursing Center with family and friends.

Born May 8, 1906, at Gun Point, Miss., she was the daughter of John and Ella Beasley. She moved to Manila at the age of 14. The train trip to Arkansas is one of her early memories. She married Herman Nance in 1922. Mr. Nance died in 1975.

Mrs. Nance was honored on her 100th year as an honorary cancer survivor for the Buffalo Island Relay for Life.

Mrs. Nance has one living daughter, Dorothy "Gwen" Harrison, of Manila.

"She has been an inspiration to her family," Harrison said. "She raised six children. She worked right beside us."

At her 100th birthday party she summed up her long life by saying, "God is my secret."

People in the area still remember her for her chocolate pies.

"There is no telling how many chocolate pies she has made in her lifetime," Harrison said.

Cake, punch and refreshments were served to the guests.

Mrs. Nance received several gifts and well wishes from family members and friends.

Mrs. Nance lived at the Manila Housing Authority for over 37 years and has been a resident of Manila Nursing Center for only a few months.

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