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Mildred Walker celebrates 100th birthday

Chapter P.E.O. EM members gathered for a group photo to honor Mildred Walker as she celebrated her 100th birthday on April 12. From Left Front: Barbara Strahm, Dana Thorne, Gerry Craun, Libby Strahan, Tracy Easley, Shirley Roberts and Blayne Shuping. Middle: Barbara McVey, Julia Wilson, Virginia Craun, Jeanelle Smith, Betty Russell, Kathy Morris and Lu King. Back: Annie Elsberry, Yvonne Rose, Jannine Edgar, Jo Johnson, Kathryn Swan, Clara Smith, Jana Sellers, Dottie Allen, Lindy Hudson, Mary Hull, Elizabeth Hembree and Jamie Clement. Not pictured are Frances Altaffer, Barbara Cheves, Carol and Lenna Hayes, Carolyn Johnson and Marci Hendricks. Jack Buzbee/J-C Correspondent
Chapter P.E.O. EM members gathered for a group photo to honor Mildred Walker as she celebrated her 100th birthday on April 12. From Left Front: Barbara Strahm, Dana Thorne, Gerry Craun, Libby Strahan, Tracy Easley, Shirley Roberts and Blayne Shuping. Middle: Barbara McVey, Julia Wilson, Virginia Craun, Jeanelle Smith, Betty Russell, Kathy Morris and Lu King. Back: Annie Elsberry, Yvonne Rose, Jannine Edgar, Jo Johnson, Kathryn Swan, Clara Smith, Jana Sellers, Dottie Allen, Lindy Hudson, Mary Hull, Elizabeth Hembree and Jamie Clement. Not pictured are Frances Altaffer, Barbara Cheves, Carol and Lenna Hayes, Carolyn Johnson and Marci Hendricks. Jack Buzbee/J-C Correspondent

Mildred Walker’s 100th birthday on April 12th has garnered good wishes and accolades from across the nation, including induction into the Centenarian Club.

Michael Cross, husband of granddaughter Kimberly, said, “Mildred is the 1,859th inductee into the Centenarian Club of Oklahoma. The sole purpose of this non-profit, non-denominational organization is to honor Oklahomans who are 100 years of age or older. There are no dues, fees or costs. Centenarian sponsor Karen King of the NorthEast Active Timers (NEATs) awarded Mildred with a framed membership certificate, a “Golden Okie” pin and a “Guardian Angel” emblem. As a member of this exclusive club, Mildred will receive monthly newsletters, birthday remembrances, and invitation to celebrations.”

Mildred also received cards and commendations from President Obama and First Lady Michelle, Governor Mary Fallin, Congressman Frank Lucas, Senator Jim Inhofe and State Representative Steve Vaughn.

“One of the most unique displays of birthday wishes came from my wife Kimberly’s third grade class at Angie Debo Elementary in Edmond,” said Cross. “Each of her 24 students sent a hand-made card to celebrate her 100th birthday.”

Mildred has the distinction of being a 69-year member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was initiated in Pawhuska’s Chapter P in 1945 and became a charter member of Chapter EM, P.E.O. in 1960. To show their affection for their sister, EM members created a ‘Sister’s Bouquet.’ Accompanying the bouquet was a custom-designed card featuring a photo of Chapter EM members and a verse created by Betty Russell.

“The beauty of this ‘Sister’s Bouquet’ reflects the beauty of Chapter EM. As our sisters are different, so is this variety of flowers. As with the flowers, Chapter EM members come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, strengths, weaknesses and sizes. Our unity comes from our desire and vow to adhere to the qualities of Faith, Purity, Justice, and Truth and to show a loving concern for each sister.

“Mildred, today, on your 100th birthday, we honor you. Your sister’s have each selected one of the flowers in this bouquet. You are represented by the tallest and most beautiful flower in the center.

“As a founding member December 6, 1960, of P.E.O. Chapter EM, you have been a positive force in the lives of many Chapter EM sisters. We have observed you as you have lived our vows. We love and respect you, and wish you a beautiful 100th birthday celebration.”

The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded in 1869 by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, P.E.O. has nearly a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Education is the primary philanthropy of the P.E.O. Sisterhood along with encouragement and support for women to realize their potential in whatever worthwhile endeavor they choose. More than 90,000 women have benefited from P.E.O educational grants, loans, awards, special projects and stewardship of Cottey College. In addition, 8,500 women have graduated from Cottey College.

Editor’s Note: For more information about Oklahoma’s Centenarian Club and the NorthEast Active Timers (NEATs), go to http://www.neatstulsa.org

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