HOUSTON – She has lived a long time in Houston and Gwenette VanCleave was all smiles as she celebrated her 105th Birthday last week.
VanCleave is one of the oldest residents in Houston and is close to being the oldest resident in the state. A milestone held by Annie Cooper, 108, of Holmes County.
VanCleave saw her fellow residents at Floy Dyer open the celebration by singing Happy Birthday. VanCleave was then presented with a tiara, scepter and personal presents. She and her birthday party crew were then treated to punch and cake.
“She lived all of her life that I know of in Houston,” Lori Douglas, of Starkville and VanCleave’s grand-daughter. “I can remember coming to her house and eating fried chicken. She also made the best banana pudding and lemon ice-box pie.
“She always has had a sweet nature,” said Douglas. “She only had one daughter, my mother, so she always treated her grandchildren special.”
VanCleave worked for years at Roebuck Cleaners on Main Street that was owned by her cousin.
Douglas said VanCleave had a house on Depot Street and walked to work.
Floy Dyer resident Sara Norris said she remembered when VanCleave worked at a grocery store on North Pontotoc Street near the intersection with Pittsboro Street.
“I can’t for the life of me remember the name of that store, but she worked there for years,” said Norris. “I used to get her to check out my groceries and we always talked. She always asked about my family.”
VanCleave’s birthday party was held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 11.