HOUSTON – She may not be Mississippi’s oldest resident, but she holds the record in Chickasaw County.
Zula Warnick celebrated her 108th birthday Sunday and was treated to a party on Valentine’s Day that saw Houston Mayor Stacey Parker present her with a special proclamation, a box of chocolates and 11 roses.
“You may be asking why we didn’t get 12, Miss Zula,” said Parker. “It’s because you are the 12th rose in Houston today.”
Warnick thanked the mayor and those gathered. She smiled for the camera and talked with family and friends.
“I was the only girl in our family and I had to be strong,” said Warnick. “I learned to do everything on a farm.”
Warnick attributed her rural lifestyle, lots of friends and eating right to her long life.
“I did ask for lemon drop candy,” said Warnick. “I have always liked lemon drops ever since I was a girl. And that was a long time ago.”
Warnick was born Feb. 16, 1906 near Macedonia. She worked at the Ammunition Plant in Prairie in the 1940s and later for Rice Stix as a seamstress.
She said she remembers seeing her first car, her first light bulb and her first airplane. She said she still read her Bible and loves to sing.
“She get tired a little quicker than she used to,” said her nephew, James Criddle. “We were playing dominoes the other day and after she beat me four out of five games she said she was tired. She told me I could come back next week and she would beat me some more.”
Staff at Floyd-Dyer Manor said Warnick’s attitude was part of her strength.
“She is a lot of fun to be around and she asks a lot of questions,” said Nurse Hope Tucker. “She really is a beautiful person and means so much to us and to people in Houston.”