Carrboro Commons

100 years young: Anne Edwin celebrates her centennial

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 in Features,Lifestyles,Uncategorized by jock

By Will Bryant
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Since Anne Edwin’s birth on Jan. 28, 1911, she has seen two world wars, 18 U.S. presidents and the growth of Carrboro from little more than a textile mill and railroad tracks to an ever-growing town of nearly 20,000 citizens.

Anne Edwin goes to hug her neighbor, Don Matthias, 88, after he serenaded her with the song, “When Day is Done,” at her 100th birthday party at Adelaide Walters Apartments. (Staff photo by Allison Russell)

Edwin, who celebrated a century of life at a birthday party in the community room of Chapel Hill’s Adelaide Walters Apartments, is considered past her prime by most people’s standards. But as her fellow Adelaide Walters residents will say, at 100 years old, Edwin might have the spirit of the youngest person living in Chapel Hill.

“Anne has got a youthful attitude … it’s like everything is fresh and new,” said Don Matthias, Edwin’s neighbor of nearly 10 years. “She looks at the best side of things and for a person of 100 years, that’s unusual.”

Edwin moved to Chapel Hill in the winter of 2002 and often commutes to Carrboro. She has since become one of the most beloved members of the community, known for her constant glowing smile, calming voice and uplifting spirit.

“She is an inspiration to all of us,” said Matthias.  “Anne is beloved by everyone here.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Edwin was the only girl among five children. At 16, she was forced to get a job to help her struggling single mother, and three years later helped her family weather the Great Depression.

Edwin married husband Russ and moved to Florida years later. The two spent nearly three decades living in the Sunshine State, where they lived happily without children.

“They were party people,” said Patricia Watts, Edwin’s niece. “They loved to have fun.”

Edwin’s husband died in 1985, but for a quarter-century Anne has managed to be self-sufficient. Watts says when she takes Edwin to the local Harris Teeter, the 100-year-old knows exactly what she wants.

Anne Edwin celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 28, surrounded by friends and neighbors at Adelaide Walters Apartments in Chapel Hill. (Staff photo by Allison Russell)

“She pushes her own cart, picks out her own fruits and vegetables, and talks to the meat man,” Watts said. “She pretty much takes care of herself.”

But one doesn’t go through 100 years of life without a few bumps along the way. Edwin said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Some days I don’t feel very well, but who else cares?” Edwin asked. “Other people are not interested in your troubles, so I always just say I am fine and keep a smile on my face.”

Edwin said she never saw herself living to be 100 years old and that she still can’t believe it. She attributes her longevity to the positive attitude she carries with her in life and the respectful attitude she has toward other people.

“You should always try to understand other people instead of criticizing them,” Edwin said. “Just be honest and truthful.”

Matthias was one of many celebrating Edwin’s milestone on Friday, and he serenaded the guest of honor with the classic song, “When Day is Done.”

The song capped a special afternoon for the apartment’s residents. And despite the title of the tune, the spry and ever-smiling Edwin is still loving life and her day is far from done.

For a printer-friendly PDF version of this story, click here.

Post a comment