Lakewood Senior Living resident celebrates milestone birthday

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 14, 2020

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VALLEY — Wednesday was a happy day at Lakewood Senior Living. Lakewood resident Rena Yarbrough celebrated her 101st birthday and her son Tim McDaniel was there to enjoy the day with her. Everyone in Lakewood’s Unit One enjoyed at 2 p.m. birthday party with flowers, balloons and treats. The honoree looked ready for Valentine’s Day in her bright red sweater.

“She knows she’s 101 today,” Tim said. “She told me she’s feeling really good about it.”

She’s doing exceptionally well considering she had hip replacement surgery a month-and-a-half ago. “The hospital staff didn’t believe me when I told them she could still feed herself, but she did, and they were so amazed.”

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Last year when she turned 100, Tim and his wife, Mary, took her to a special reception in her honor at Trinity Baptist Church in Roanoke. Lots of people at her home church turned out to see her. “She recognized a lot of them,” Tim said. “She’s had a good life. She’s lived through a lot and has seen a lot. Her dad lived to be 96. He died in 1974. He had lived through the horse and buggy age and had never driven a car. My mom was very different. She was still driving when she turned 97. I graduated from Handley High School in Roanoke in 1968. I’m probably the only person who graduated that year whose mother is still living.”

Mrs. Yarbrough was born on Feb. 12, 1919, in the Abanda community in northwest Chambers County. When she was five years old her parents, James Winslow and Rena Em Osborne, moved to Roanoke so young Rena could attend school there.

After graduating from Handley High School, Rena went to work at Handley Mills, where she met and married Weyman D. McDaniel in 1940. They were blessed with two sons, Mike and Tim. Weyman died in 1953 and Mike in 2017.

Rena remarried in 1967 to Pryce Yarbrough of Orlando, Florida. He died in 2002.

When Rena was directed to a table loaded with treats and balloons Wednesday afternoon, she couldn’t help but smile and say that everything looked really, really nice.

She gets around really well on her walker. There’s very few centenarians in this world – especially those who have had hip replacement surgery – who can do that.