If you're 100, join the club
By CAROLYN HOPKINS, Times Staff Writer
NEW PORT RICHEY -- There was a party Friday that was many years -- 615 of them -- in the making. Six residents of Heather Hill Health Care Center were part of a "Celebration of Life," and between them they celebrated a total of 615 years.
Grace Clawson, who is believed to be the oldest citizen of Pasco County -- and, possibly, of Florida, according to research -- is 114. Andrew Constine is 101; Helen Mraz, 101; Mae Kroll, 100; and Lorraine Zielinski, 100. Mildred Mitchell, 99, will turn 100 on Aug. 27.
Molly Franskowiak, activity director, said she compared records with other health care providers locally and discovered that Heather Hill is caring for the largest number of centenarians in west Pasco. She formed the "Century Club" to honor the group and planned a luncheon and entertainment for them.
"They enjoyed the music and entertainment, and we hope to do this for them several times a year," she said.
The West Coast Mummers entertained after lunch.
Gladys Grimpe, 79, of Port Richey attended the event to honor her mother, Grace Clawson, who has two daughters, five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. Grace (Taylor) Clawson was born Nov. 15, 1887, in London. She thought she was born in 1889 until she received her birth certificate, verifying her age.
Andrew Constine was born May 30, 1900, in Roxbury, Vt.; Helen (Joest) Marz was born April 20, 1901, in Jersey City, N.J.; and Mae (Gorski) Kroll was born Jan. 18, 1902, in Poland.
Lorraine (Mathieson) Zielinski was born March 1, 1902, in Milwaukee. She enjoyed Friday's celebration.
"I just can't believe they would do all this for us," she said. "I don't feel I deserve it."
Mildred (Brown) Mitchell is the youngest of the group. She was born Aug. 27, 1902, in New York City. She talked Friday about turning 100.
"Most of us don't feel 100. I know I don't feel like it. Four of us live on the same hall, and we all feel the same. I've been here almost four years, and they are very nice and take good care of us," she said.
"I've had a very good life and a wonderful marriage of 66 years before my husband died eight years ago."
Said Francine Friel, director of nurses: "We wanted to honor our centenarians in a celebration of life. They really have few complaints."
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