They’re hardly an odd couple, these two ladies that share the same birthday and live in the same room at the Community Springs Health Care Facility. At 103, their distinct personalities still shine through the years – Grace, quick with the racy story and Lillie, with an easy laugh, and hands that can still find the tune on a piano.
They have much in common. They were both farm girls. Grace Overton was born on a farm in the Virgil City area and Lillie Lutes in Roscoe. They’ve known each for years and even lived on the same street in El Dorado Springs. But they really got acquainted when Pete was in the nursing home several years ago at the same time Grace was.
Grace married “Deb” Debler and Lillie married Pete Francis. Grace had a daughter that is now 83 years old. Lillie dedicated her life to teaching children, first in one-room school houses and then at El Dorado Springs. She also taught music in her home to hundreds of local children.
At 103 they both claim to have relished the years. Grace credits her longevity to enjoying life and eating what she wants, Lillie to her faith in God.
Besides the birth of these lovely ladies, three other significant events in 1909 were: The US Treasury issued the first Lincoln penny, the mayor of Tokyo presented Washington DC with 2,000 cherry trees which President Taft decided to plant along the Potomac and the Indianapolis 500 Race Track opened.
Other centenarians at Community Springs includes Genevieve Shaw who was 103 on July 4, Ruby Kennon who celebrate her 100th birthday on April 17, 2013, Mary Allen turned 100 on Feb. 22, 2012, Henrietta Pray will be 100 on Nov. 28 of this year and Mary Ellifrits who will be 100 on April 10, 2013.
MUST BE THE WATER – Lillie Francis and Grace Debler, both 103 and roommates at the Community Springs Health Care Facility, celebrated their birthdays with a visit from KOLR and an interview with El Dorado Springs native and KOLR reporter, Nathan Vickers.