Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TOP STORY >> Cabot resident marks 100th birthday

Spring Creek Living Center in Cabot celebrated a milestone birthday Monday as resident Evelyn Picard turned 100.

The staff at Spring Creek brought her a small birthday cake with lots of candles.

They sang “Happy Birthday” in the commons area, along with several residents and guests.

Her son, Richard, was there, along with his niece, Cathy, of Miami. She is the daughter of Evelyn’s other son, George, who is a retired Miami city engineer. He wasn’t at the party, but visited his mother the day before.

Her two sons have given her eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Evelyn has lived at Spring Creek for five years and in assisted living in Arkansas for 15 years.

She was born in Plymouth, Mass., on Aug. 10, 1909. Her mother was from Hanson, Mass., and her father was from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Evelyn and her husband, George, were married for 70 years until his death in 1998 at the age of 88.

After raising their children, Evelyn and her husband moved to Wareham, Mass., outside Plymouth. They lived there 35 years.

Richard Picard said his mother was a career homemaker. She has never driven a car. Evelyn was active in her church. She crafted dolls, knitted and canned vegetables from the family garden.

Evelyn enjoyed knitting and made shawls for her family.

George and Evelyn were high school sweethearts. They were in the same senior class in Plymouth High School.

According to family history, Richard Picard said, Evelyn worked as a secretary. The position required a woman to be single.

George and Evelyn eloped to New York. When they returned to Plymouth, the couple kept it a secret and went back to living with their respective parents. The couple could not admit they were married or Evelyn would have lost her secretarial job.

Richard Picard said his parents lived apart for a year or two, while George lived at home and commuted to groundskeeping school.

According to Evelyn’s son, his father was a professional golfer from the 1920s to the 1950s. He finished out his career as a golf pro at the Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa., from 1947 to 1951.

He then worked as an office manager for U.S. Plywood in Pittsburgh for 12 years. He also worked as a production manger for

Ocean Spray in Middleboro, Mass., where he then retired.

They shared many happy memories together, Richard said.

Richard, who lives in northern Pulaski County outside Cabot, is a retired Air Force major. A Vietnam veteran, he was in the Air Force for 22 years. He was a C-130 navigator and later taught navigation at Little Rock Air Force Base from 1977 to 1984.

While in the Air Force, Richard earned a master’s degree in logistics management from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Two years after retiring from service, he went to UALR as a Vietnam veteran and earned a teaching certificate. He taught physics at Parkview High School in Little Rock for 16 years from 1986 to 2002.

He said his mother is well taken care of at the nursing home. What’s more, “The care at Spring Creek is outstanding,” he said.