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Senior Lifestyles

Village at St. Edward resident celebrates milestone birthday

9/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Grace Shirey, shown above, a longtime Akron resident who now lives at the Village at St. Edward in Fairlawn, enjoyed a party in honor of her 100th birthday Aug. 28. She is also shown below blowing out candles on her cake.
Photos: Kathleen Folkerth
FAIRLAWN — When her family and staff at the Village of St. Edward planned a surprise party for Grace Shirey’s 100th birthday, it worked like a charm.

“This is the biggest surprise I’ve ever had!” Shirey exclaimed after her son-in-law, Chip, brought her into the room where dozens of residents had gathered Aug. 28 along with Shirey’s family and special visitors.

The following day was the Akron native’s big birthday. She didn’t seem to mind celebrating a day early with accordion music and birthday cake.

According to Shirey’s daughter, Linda Houghton, of Fairlawn, Shirey has lived at St. Edward’s for 10 years after living 50 years in West Akron.

She was born in 1913 and graduated from South High School. She worked as a dental assistant for many years, her daughter said, working before her two children were born and later when they were older.

She married William Shirey in 1936. He died in 1992, but Grace Shirey stayed in their home as long as she could, Houghton said.

She added her mother was a big card player and always liked to read.

Shirey is in pretty good health, her daughter said. After living in Independent Living at St. Edward’s, she moved into Assisted Living about a year ago.

Shirey said she appreciates her family more than anything in her long life. She also said she isn’t sure why she’s lived to reach the century mark.

“I had such good care with my parents bringing me up, and around here they look after me all the time,” she said.

Also attending the party was Shirey’s son, Jack, of Pittsburgh, and his wife, Brenda. Shirey also has two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

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