By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
Born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 28, 1920, Estelle Betts was one of 14 siblings. She celebrated her 101 birthday on Thursday, October 28 at Divine Rehabilitation and Nursing in Toledo, 1011 N. Byrne Rd.
Residents and staff gathered in the activity room to celebrate and enjoy cake with the birthday girl.
Her only child, Valerie Betts and one of two grandsons, Derell Nathaniel, were in attendance for the milestone event.
“She was strict; it was her way or the highway,” Valerie Betts told The Toledo Journal, while laughing. “She taught me a lot of things in life, one of which I still use today and that’s baking.”
Valerie Betts remembers, while growing up, her mom worked as a salad girl. “She was paid by her employer to set up displays of salads; she traveled around setting up those displays.”
Mr. Nathaniel drove from Washington DC to celebrate with his grandmother.
“To make it to 101 years of age is a true milestone,” he said. “Once, I got food poisoning while in elementary. My grandmother picked me up from school and cared for me the entire day. She’s a special woman and I had to be here today.”
Gloria Bean, social worker and activity director at Devine Rehabilitation and Nursing at Toledo, described Estelle Betts as a pleasant woman who always compliments her.
Raymond Vasquez, resident, simply said, “She’s always cheerful and she’s my friend.”