With teal table cloths, colorful flowers and a large decorated cake, Edith “Dee Dee” Grant’s 100th birthday party was ready to get underway.
Many of her family and friends were by her side as she celebrated this special milestone on Saturday. As Grant was helped to her chair, a sash hung over the back with the words, “100 years loved.”
When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, “I got all that God’s blessing. I’m content right now, everyday is a birthday gift.”
Grant told party-goers that she was “100 and a half today,” and she was, nearly to the day.
Her birthday actually falls on February 16, but every year her daughters said they have a blizzard, so they decided to plan the party in July. This time, the family was worried about the storm that hit the night before, wondering if the electricity would be back on in time for the celebration. Fortunately, Tilden’s power was restored just in time. It did make the birthday girl a little bit late for her party though, as the outage pushed back her hair appointment.
Grant, who grew up in Meadow Grove, went to school there from kindergarten through high school. Her daughters said she has always kept up with the alumni and keeps records of who has passed away. She, herself, has only missed two banquets — one early on and one last year due to COVID-19. Now, Grant is the oldest living graduate.
When she and her husband George made plans to marry, they decided to elope.
“When dad and her got married in Yuma, Ariz., it was 110 degrees,” their daughters said. “They eloped and the courthouse wasn’t open yet, so they laid on the lawn waiting for the courthouse to open, so that's how they started their marriage.”
After they married, the Grants moved to a farm without electricity or running water. The young pair lived out in the country with a lot of people their own age, and they had a lot of card parties. Couples would get together and all the kids came too; they had no babysitters.
The Grants have two daughters, Georgia Wyatt and Gail Koenig, six grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Her daughters said she played the organ at church as far back as they can remember. Until one day when she had to stop because she had a stroke while actually playing the organ.
“She has had some health problems, but we tell her she is like the Energizer bunny,” her daughters said. “She has weathered through a lot.”
In addition to playing the organ, Grant’s hobbies included China painting, crocheting and baking. Her daughters said one of her specialties was cherry upside down cake.
When Grant was asked what she credits her longevity to she said, “Every day there was something new. I really don’t know, God’s blessings.”