Hunter granny to observe 100th birthday Tuesday

Monday, April 1, 2013

Zella McManus, Hunter, Mo., will celebrate her 100th birthday on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, with an open house. Family and friends are encouraged to stop by her house any time in the afternoon or evening to have some cake and ice cream and to wish her a happy birthday. Hunter is a very small town, so everyone knows where she lives. Also, there will be posters and signs for anyone who strays.

Zella was born April 2, 1913, in Maynard, Ark., to Lula Ann and William W. Reid. She married Samuel E. McManus in October 1932 and they had five children: Ava (Reynolds), Edna (Hampton), Ronnie McManus, Bob McManus and Bonnie Carol (Swigert). Zella and Sam were married 54 years until his death in 1986.

During her life, Zella travelled a lot and has lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado and Wyoming doing a variety of jobs such as factory work, farming and postmaster; she even cut and skidded timber with her husband. She served as an election judge in Hunter for many years. Zella was an avid gardener. Her gardens were huge and she canned vegetables and fruit during the growing season until she was in her late 80s. She still likes to help make jam and jellies.

Well known and highly respected in her small town and surrounding community, Zella is known for her willingness to help those in need, her nurturing spirit and strong family values. She has never met a stranger! Anyone who comes to her door can expect to be welcomed and fed--she thinks you have to eat if you visit!

Zella has 179 direct descendants. There are a lot of "five generation photos" because every new great-great grandchild has to have his or her photo taken with "Granny" as soon as possible after coming home from the hospital. She makes no difference in those children and grandchildren who marry into the family -- they are hers as much as the ones born into the family. She has many more people, both related and unrelated, who fondly call her "Granny" because she treats them all as if they are hers.

Cards of congratulations are welcome, but gifts are not necessary. Being 100 years old, Zella is no longer able to go, go, go as she has done all of her life, so she is looking forward to spending the afternoon or evening with family and friends and, of course, eating some ice cream and cake because a visit to "Granny's" means you have to eat!

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