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New Franklin honoring oldest living resident

9/27/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Photos: Maria Lindsay
NEW FRANKLIN — Aug. 5 has always been a special day for New Franklin resident Mary Lucretia (Miller) Phelps, who turned 112 that day this year, but now it also will be a day of honor in New Franklin.

On Sept. 26, New Franklin Mayor Al Bollas delivered a proclamation, shown below, marking Aug. 5 as Mary Lucretia Miller Phelps Day in the city in perpetuity. Bollas also gave Phelps two dozen multicolored roses and called her a “star.”

Phelps, who lives with her only daughter, Cleta Boyce, and her son-in-law, Charles Boyce, said she was glad to meet the mayor. Phelps is pictured above with Bollas and the flowers he gave her.

Cleta Boyce said her mother is the oldest woman in Ohio and the eighth oldest in the United States, and is the 13th super-centenarian in the county (those older than 110).

Phelps was born in Johnstown, Penn., moved to Akron in 1917 and got a job building dirigibles for B.F. Goodrich before marrying her husband, Dennis Phelps, in 1926, according to Cleta Boyce. They were married 53 years before he died in 1980. She has two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“She is legally blind and hard of hearing, but she has her mind,” said her daughter. She also said her mother used to love reading the newspapers from cover to cover and doing crossword puzzles.

She said she believes “good, clean living, hard work and her Christian faith, and never drinking or smoking” has contributed to her mother’s longevity.

— By Maria Lindsay

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