Family, cake and song ring in a centenarian celebration to remember
Holiday Retirement’s Highland Estates in Cedar Park, Texas played host to a centenarian celebration for Mary Die in early November. The festivities included music, cake and song among friends and family.
Mary was born in 1917 in Lancaster, Kentucky. The third child of Mary Francis and Harrison Gaffney, Mary saw electricity arrive in rural Kentucky, weathered the Great Depression on a self-sustaining farm with her family and became one of the first women to attend Texas A&M.
Education was important in the Gaffney family. Harrison Gaffney did not have much formal education, but he worked hard to teach himself as much as possible and felt it extremely important that all of his children go to college. And so, though it was uncommon for many women to attend college, Mary enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University at the age of 16 and graduated in 1938 with a teaching degree. Years later, after she had three children of her own, she would return to her education and obtain her Master’s in English Literature from Texas A&M at the age of 51.
Professionally, Mary spent 37 years teaching students at every level, but she still considers the time she spent helping teach her classmates to read at her one-room country school her first teaching experience.
And she’s just as voracious a reader now as she was when she discovered the delights of the works of Charles Dickens in third grade. Reading the Austin-American Statesman is part of her daily routine. When she’s not reading novels or the magazines to which she faithfully subscribes, Mary can be found playing competitive bridge at the community. Ever the dedicated student, she’s also recently taken up Texas Hold’em.
Mary has only been a Holiday Retirement resident for less than a year, but she’s already found new friends and activities in her new home. If you or a loved one are considering senior living, visit a community near you or get in touch with us to learn more!