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TREZEVANT (June 29) — A huge crowd gathered Saturday at the Trezevant Community Center to celebrate the 100th birthday of Hestella Adkisson.The centenarian arrived at the party with a Carroll …
TREZEVANT (June 29) — A huge crowd gathered Saturday at the Trezevant Community Center to celebrate the 100th birthday of Hestella Adkisson.
The centenarian arrived at the party with a Carroll County Sheriff’s Department escort from her home in the Wingo community. Upon arrival, she was presented with a corsage by granddaughter Janna Taylor and everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” Next, the event was blessed by another granddaughter, Minister Kara Watson of Fellowship Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Trezevant Mayor Bobby Blaylock and Alderman Pam Joyner were on hand to honor Adkisson. Joyner read a mayoral proclamation praising her as a model citizen who served her community as a Sunday school teacher, missionary president, choir member and volunteer at Webb School in McKenzie. It declared that her 100th birthday, June 3, 2019, shall be known as Hestella Williams Adkisson Day and encouraged all citizens of Trezevant and the Wingo community to join in wishing her a happy birthday. Mayor Blaylock then presented Adkisson with the key to the city.
Adkisson’s youngest daughter, Lula Williamson, served as host of the party and introduced many friends and family members to speak about their experiences with Mrs. Hestella and offer birthday wishes.
Some of her youngest relatives announced that she had received numerous cards from ten states as well as England and China.
Adkisson’s four-year-old great-great-niece, Audye Abakwue, sang “You are My Sunshine,” and her sister-in-law, Evelyn Johnson, sang “I’m Grateful.”
Guests enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, cake and ice cream.
Between visiting with the many guests, Hestella and Lula spoke to The Banner about the milestone. Known to most as “Stell,” Lottie Hestella Williams was born in Paris on June 3, 1919 to Hilliard and Mary Jane (Atkins) Williams. Her father was a sharecropper. Among her three brothers and two sisters, she’s the third oldest and the last surviving. The family moved to Wingo when Hestella was four years old, and she attended Wingo School.
On April 3, 1935, she married Ethridge H. Adkisson, and they had seven children: Oscar, Mattie (Taylor, deceased), Earl, Maybel (Kelley), Mary (Brown), Angelene (Moore) and Lula (Williamson). She and Ethridge were married 72 years until his death on May 7, 2007. Hestella has 20 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren.
She said, “I try to live like I ought to. By God’s mercy, He’s keeping me. I love everybody. I like church.” She attends Wingo Missionary Baptist Church. The biggest change she identifies in the world is the “different situations people are in.” But she laments that, “People don’t love like they used to.” The best change she sees is the different jobs that connect people together.
Her advice to younger generations is, “Love each other, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Let love abide.”
She attributes her longevity to clean, healthy living, with “no drinking or smoking.” Lula added that her mother “works hard and keeps busy. She’s still very independent. What all she can do for others, she does as best she can.”
At the end of the party, Hestella thanked everyone who came and sent cards. Everyone then joined hands and sang a few choruses of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).”