Two celebrate milestone birthdays

Imari Scarbrough

July 11, 2014

Two ladies celebrated milestone birthdays at Anson Health and Rehabilitation (formerly Lillie Bennett Nursing Center) on Thursday.

Lydia Bennett turned 100 this month. Although her real birth date is July 1, the midwife recorded the wrong date, marking July 10 as her birthday, so Lydia celebrates it then. Since the midwife was late, she was born on the front porch of her parents’ house near the Polkton area.

She is the wife of the late John Bennett and a former beautician and employee at the Anson Post Office. She enjoys gardening and crocheting and attends East Rock Ford Baptist Church. Relatives said she was formerly an active member of the Home Beautification Club for many years.

Although Lydia has no children, she helped raise several. Willie G. Bennett, the wife of Lydia’s nephew, Charles, said that Charles was one of many children Lydia helped bring up. Nancy Harrington, who also attended her birthday party, said that Lydia is like a mother to her.

Annie Bell Johnson also celebrated her birthday on Thursday. Born July 5, 1913, she turned 101 last Saturday. She received a letter wishing her a belated happy birthday from President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. The letter is now framed and she plans to hang it on her wall.

Johnson is the wife of the late Rev. Daniel Lee Johnson. She was born in Wadesboro, then moved to Hampton, Va., before moving back to Wadesboro to farm with her husband. She is the oldest mother at New Life Christian Faith in Morven and enjoys singing and going to church.

Johnson is the mother of eight children, four of whom are still living: Henry Johnson of Baltimore, Md., Lula James of Baltimore, Daniel Johnson of Morven, and Peggy Johnson, also of Morven.