“As spunky as they come.” These are the words of TLC Nursing Center activities director Ina Brown when describing resident Ellen Barton, who will turn 105 years old on Sept. 26.
Don’t let Barton’s age make you think she simply sits in a chair all day doing nothing. Even though being in a nursing facility limits some activities, doing nothing is simply not her style. Before COVID-19 restricted activities and visits from family and friends, Barton could be found daily traveling up and down the halls visiting with staff and peers, staying active with church activities, playing Bingo, getting her hair done with the in-house beautician, watching TV, and listening to the local radio station or best seller audio books that she orders.
With all of the restrictions now in place, Barton can only have window or door visits with her son Craig. Even with these limitations, her son will celebrate Barton’s birthday with her even if it is through the glass door. She will have a well-deserved birthday cake and maybe a surprise or two.
Barton (pictured with son Craig above) said she worked and played hard all of her life. She lived in Birmingham until she retired and relocated to Locust Fork. Barton worked at a wholesale shoe company for 42 years as a credit and office manager before retiring at age 62.
As an avid bridge player, Barton played in and around the Birmingham area and was a member of a national bridge association. This membership gave her the opportunity to travel across the country for competitions. Barton said it was almost weekly that she competed somewhere.
During World War II, Barton volunteered on Saturdays at the Birmingham airport. Along with other women, they had a kitchen/refreshment area where they passed out sandwiches and boiled eggs to soldiers who arrived at the airport.
Although she is no longer able to attend, Barton is a member of Turning Point United Methodist Church. She served as church treasurer for many years.
When asked what she would like to tell people, Barton replied, “When people get older, we are not the same. We all have different problems. Some of us are sick, but some are not. We are all individuals, so please do not treat us all the same way.”
Barton said that she never imagined she would reach the 105-birthday milestone. Her advice to live a long and happy life is simply, “Love God. Do what He tells us to do. Be kind. Be honest and live a good life.”
That is definitely something we should take heed to, especially in these days of uncertainty. Happy birthday Ellen Barton! Celebrate big!