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Published: Wednesday, 12/17/2008

Centenarian active as she reaches milestone

Emma Parker blows out the candles on a cake for her 100th birthday. With her is granddaughter Lisa Paxton of Lambertville. Emma Parker blows out the candles on a cake for her 100th birthday. With her is granddaughter Lisa Paxton of Lambertville.
JETTA FRASER / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

West Park Place Retirement Homes hosted a birthday celebration on Friday for Emma Parker, a resident who turned 100 years old on Sunday.

Many friends and family members were there to help her celebrate, including her sister May Pierson, 87, of Avon Park, Fla., and Emma Beabout, 20 months, named for her great- great grandmother.

Emma Parker was born in Jewell, Ohio, between Defiance and Napoleon, and was raised on a farm. She lost her mother when she was only 9 years old, but finished school despite helping to take care of five brothers and two sisters.

After high school, she came down with pneumonia.

She said her father wanted her to stay warm, so he sent her to live with an aunt in Toledo.

Her first job in Toledo was housekeeping. The people she worked for always treated her very well, she said.

She also worked for Surface Combustion Inc. when the company was on Dorr Street. She did office work there for 20 years.

Emma was married to Joe Beabout for 35 years. He was the father of her only son, Robert.

After his death, she met and married Milton Carney.

She said, We traveled everywhere by car. We both loved to travel.

They were together 16 years before he passed away.

She married her third husband, Milton Parker, in 1984.

He also loved to travel. They traveled mostly by bus, she remembered. Her favorite destination was Branson, Mo.

After she took a fall and hit her head, the couple decided to move to West Park Place.

Even after losing Milton, Emma remains very active there. She said, They have so many things to do here.

She loves to sing and is a member of the glee club.

She helps to make greeting cards for Odyssey Health Care. The cards are sent to sick people to help cheer them up.

Emma said she mostly takes care of herself. She goes to the dining room for breakfast and dinner and enjoys the company of her table mates.

She says, We just laugh and laugh.

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