Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Special Centenarian Friend, Elizabeth, by Charlene Farnsworth

I wish all of you could have known our dear friend Elizabeth McEntee who celebrated her 103rd birthday on July 17 of this year. It was always delightful being in her company.

My friend Steve and his “harem” (Elizabeth, Donna, Clara, Phyllis, Wilma and I) enjoy a wonderful friendship and frequently dine out together. We especially celebrate one another’s birthdays.

Elizabeth celebrated her 100th birthday in 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel restaurant. It was a grand celebration with a private limousine transporting us to the special event. My gift to Elizabeth was a small decorative “Grandma’s brag book” filled with the happenings over her 100 years, 1907 through mid-2007. For each year, I included various discoveries, inventions, patents and Academy awards. If a child’s, grandchild’s or great-grandchild’s birth also occurred in a particular year, I included that information on the opposing page.

In 2008, Elizabeth celebrated her 101st birthday at her favorite Home Town Buffet. Can you imagine dining in a restaurant and glancing over to see a big balloon with “101” brightly printed on it? It certainly did turn many heads with accompanying whispers. One darling young girl quietly came over to our table because she wanted to meet Elizabeth personally. This time the little book I created for Elizabeth included cartoons and jokes, fun and interesting facts, cute and pretty pictures, etc.

In 2009, we all had another limousine ride to the Savannah on the Beach restaurant in Huntington Beach for Elizabeth’s 102nd birthday. I remember how difficult it was for her to exit the restaurant for there were many customers who wanted to meet a special lady on this amazing occasion. I made a colorful display of floral clip art with accompanying birthday greetings for Elizabeth this year.

For her 103rd birthday celebration, Elizabeth wanted all of us to join her at Spires restaurant in Orange. The excellent service by all the staff made for a wonderful celebration. Bright balloons were floating up from the table and tied to the back of Elizabeth’s chair. Again, curious patrons’ heads turned when they saw the brightly-printed “103” on the largest balloon. This time my project for Elizabeth was a birthday card/booklet with 35 clip art fortune cookies, all of which contained fun pull-out fortunes. Some examples of Elizabeth‘s personalized fortunes are, “You will enjoy a good movie soon,” “Good news is coming your way,” and “Sweet dream will be yours.”

Sadly, our dear friend Elizabeth passed away on August 16, 2010. The care provided by her daughter Donna certainly contributed immensely to her longevity. Elizabeth was a very special lady, and it was always an honor and pleasure to be with her.


  1. This is a story that just makes you want to smile.

  2. Charlene, As always you make many people feel special no matter what their age. You have such a warm and inviting way about you.

  3. Charlene, I admire the fact that you could come up with such meaningful and thoughtful gifts for someone this old. Not easy!! Not only was she a good friend to you -you certainly were a good friend to her. Very nice warm story.

  4. Life is a gift, and hers was huge! Thanks for sharing .

  5. Dear Charlene, What a gift you were to Elizabeth. You added so much- not just to her, but to those who loved her as well. They will forever have your loving contributions that illuminated her time on earth.

  6. Dear Chsrlene.
    A beautiful story and so typical of your thoughtfulness and artistry. You gave me great ideas on gifts for our senior friends who do not need or want anything.
    Elizabeth was a special friend to you as obviously you were to her. May she rest in peace.