Woman, 103, celebrates birthday

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Euna Bryant has had a lot of birthdays, 103 to be exact.

Her birthday Thursday came about two weeks after Sallie Burney of Albany marked her 105th one.

While they are not alone in their longevity, they are members of a still fairly exclusive club as centenarians. In the 2000 U.S. Census, there were only 17 residents of Albany who were 100 years old or older, and only one had reached 105 that year.

According to Dorothy Pace, an employee of Palmyra Nursing Home, of the 228 residents at the facility, there are "six over the age of a hundred."

A resident of Palmyra Nursing Home since 2007, Bryant is in "good health for her age" says her youngest son, Walter Brown, who will be 67 Monday. "She's diabetic and has dementia, but she's in good health -- especially for her age."

Asked if Bryant recognizes him, Brown says, "Oh, yes. She knows me. She's just in and out sometimes."

A single mother, she raised children and helped raise grandchildren.

"She raised eight kids," Brown says, looking fondly at his mother. "Our father wasn't with us. She always worked hard."

Brown's daughter, Ronette Brown, said to her father, "(S)he raised y'all alone, didn't she?"

Her father nodded, adding that "she had eight born, six still living. She used to work out at the Marine Base to support us."

Ronette Brown went on to say that her grandmother was "a real feisty lady" who "never held her tongue." Bryant also "had a hand in raising her grandchildren," she said.

Surrounded by family, nurses and fellow residents, Bryant tried a piece of her birthday cake, feeding herself with shaky hands.

When wished a happy birthday, Bryant, who had been nodding off with her chin resting on her chest, looked up and with a hint of a smile. "Thank you," she said before resuming her rest.