The multi-purpose room at Rolla Manor Care on Monday was packed with family and friends to honor a "centenarian plus-one.”
They were there to celebrate Beulah Foster's 101st birthday. She was shocked to see her younger sister, Irene Chickene, 93, who arrived after a 30-hour journey on a Greyhound bus from New Jersey.
The two hadn't seen each other in many years. According to her 69-year-old son, Dennis Foster, Beulah credits her longevity to always eating garden vegetables and treating others nicely. "She still walks all the time," he said. "No wheelchair for her."
Dennis, a one-man band, provided the musical entertainment for the afternoon. He said his mom was born in Waynesville and worked as a cook for the Waynesville School District. She had two girls and one boy. In her later years, she volunteered at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center working with Alzheimer patients.
"We started having these birthday celebrations when she turned 80," Dennis said with a chuckle. “Always worried it would be her last one. That was 21 years ago."