A sparkling celebration for Thelma
What do you give to a person turning 100 years old? If that person is Thelma Luce Baird, Hershey candy bars are just the things. "Thelma loves chocolate bars," said Lorraine Clark as she surveyed the boxes of chocolate on the gift table. Lorraine's husband, Richard Clark, is Thelma's nephew. On Saturday, Jan. 5, guests and family assembled in the dining room at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to celebrate Thelma's 100th birthday.
There were two birthday cakes (one of them ringed with Hershey bars), lots of food, including dozens of deviled eggs made by Lorraine because, she said, "Thelma loves them." The huge tray of eggs was passed around the room several times and people also helped themselves to the sandwiches and finger foods on the buffet table.
It was a joyous celebration as Thelma's large, extended family talked with her and each other, catching up on the news, and sharing stories.
"They must have worked hard on my party because I look good," said Thelma as she left her room upstairs and made her way to the dining room. Her hair had been styled that morning and she wore a blue velour outfit that brought out the blue in her eyes. Her smile lit up the room. She was the woman of the hour, and her family and friends loved showering her with the attention she deserves.
Thelma was born on the Island on Jan. 8, 1908, the daughter of Harry Luce and Irene Mayhew Luce. She lived independently until she was 95 and then moved to Windemere. Thelma took a taxi every day to Linda Jean's for lunch.
Betsy Salmond, Thelma's niece, traveled from her home in London, England, for the occasion. Betsy said she wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Elizabeth "Betty" Mendolia said, "Now Mary Fisher has competition." Mary turned 100 years old in May of 2007. Both Mary and Betty are residents at Windemere.
"Thelma spent Christmas with us for more than 50 years," said Lorraine.
"She was the toast person on Christmas morning," added Sukhi Bahal, Thelma's great-nephew, describing how she would man the toaster every year.
Thelma wanted fireworks on her 100th birthday so special candles that burned like sparklers were put on the larger of the two cakes. Great-niece Alex Clark helped light the candles and then Ben Clark, a great-nephew, helped to blow them out. The family gathered at Windemere on Thelma's actual birthday, Jan. 8, to celebrate and to cut the other birthday cake.
The party continued with family members in Thelma's room after the main event was over. "She loved it," reported Lorraine. "She was very happy."