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Friends join parade to wish Elizabeth Overton a happy 100th birthday

South Boston News
Elizabeth Overton celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on Easter Sunday. Front row: Victoria Overton holding baby Chip, Elizabeth Overton, and dear friend Jane Edmunds. Second row: Taylor Overton, Ramah Cook, and Ed Overton. (Liza Fulton photos)
SoVaNow.com / April 05, 2021




Retired teacher, master gardener and longtime community volunteer Elizabeth Overton celebrated her 100th birthday on Easter Sunday with friends and family at Commonwealth Senior Living. Joining Overton for her milestone birthday were friends, firefighters, police and others who took part in a drive-through parade as the birthday girl took in the grand spectacle from the sidewalk.

“I’m happy to be a hundred years old,” said Overton, who recently moved from her Town of Halifax home to the assisted living facility and remains sharp as a tack.

Leading the procession was her pastor, Dr. Eldridge “Ridge” Cullum of Beth Carr Baptist Church, who brought a birthday card signed by the congregation. Members of the South Boston Police Department and Halifax Volunteer Fire Department brought their patrol vehicles and fire truck, and an antique car and truck rolled by, too, adding to the festivities.

Carol and Clinton Boone, close friends of Overton’s, drove up in a Candy Apple Red 1967 Dodge RT to wish Elizabeth a happy birthday. Last year, the Boones and Elizabeth Overton celebrated her 99th birthday together on the front lawn of her Mountain Road home. It was unsafe for her family to travel that day due to the pandemic.

Carol Nelson, another friend who took part in Sunday’s parade, paid tribute to Overton by noting her vigor and energy: “Elizabeth is a force in our community, who has volunteered for so many organizations over the years,” she said.

As friends drove by bearing gifts and balloons, Overton hopped right up to wave and thank everyone for joining her birthday celebration.

Overton moved to Commonwealth Senior Living in January. The move followed rehab in Gretna after Overton fractured her shoulder in five places in a fall last October. She stumbled inside her home when a storm knocked out the power and she was moving around with a flashlight in the darkness.

Overton was born in Lynch, Kentucky in 1921 and moved to her grandmother’s cottage in Ewing, Va. when it was time for her to go to school.

“It was through family connections” that she ended up in Virginia, said Overton.

Overton graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) with a master’s degree in special education and a minor in biology, chemistry, and physics. She was a special education teacher at Sinai Elementary for 20 years and retired in 1989. Her supervisor at the time was Worth Hudson.

Overton is a proud member of the Southside Master Gardeners Association and helped found the local chapter back in 1969, establishing the first by-laws and traveling all over the state for meetings. She has also given her time and support to the AARP, South Boston Garden Club, and Friends of the Library.

“She’s got it together better than I do,” said her daughter, Ramah Cook.

Overton had four generations of her family at her side as she watched the birthday procession roll by. Daughter Ramah drove up from her home in Atlanta with hundreds of cupcakes to give out to everyone. Her son Ed Overton came in from Williamsburg. Taylor (Ed Overton’s son) and his wife Victoria and their son Chip visited from Richmond.



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