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Sarasota resident enjoys 107th birthday celebration

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  • | 4:00 a.m. March 18, 2010
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Sarasota resident Elizabeth Delaney is excellent at crossword puzzles and card games, and although her eyesight has worsened over the years, she joined a cooking class at the Sarasota Senior Friendship Center. She always makes sure to take the recipes home, then she tells her family which one she’d like for dinner.

Delaney celebrated her 107th birthday surrounded by friends and family Friday, March 12, at the Senior Friendship Center.

She was born March 12, 1903, in Philadelphia, to a British father and Irish mother. Delaney married a neighborhood friend, and the two held a quiet church wedding and honeymooned in Atlantic City. She recalls their courtship had lots of dancing and picnics.

After 35 years, she retired from working in AT&T’s clerical department, and she moved to Cape May, N.J., where she resided for 25 years before moving to Sarasota.

Family members say Delaney’s perfect day would be lounging at the Cape May seashore with her loved ones, eating crab cakes, French fries and coleslaw.

In her spare time, Delaney refinished furniture and sewed clothes for her granddaughter, Elizabeth Jones.

“She used to make all of my clothes up until law school,” Jones said. “One of her favorite things to do was go for a nice car ride, but I always got car sick. She’d be leaning out the window, smiling, with my head on her lap.”

Delaney likes to be in the background, but within the last year has been trying new things — playing cards and joining the cooking club being two of them.

“She certainly is an inspiration,” said Debbie Morrill, adult day services manager at SFC.

Rose Jones says her mother is a determined woman who follows through and doesn’t give up. Delaney’s best advice — and her key to enjoying such a long life — is being herself.

Delaney’s close friend, Bertsie Hoard, says the two like to talk about current events when they get together.

“She smiles and she’s fun to talk to,” Hoard said. “Amazing, that’s what she is. If I’m in good health, I’d like to live as long as Elizabeth.”

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].


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