Ophelia Smith and Friends Celebrate 100-year milestone

A birthday parade of over 30 vehicles drove past Mrs. Ophelia Smith’s Dublin residence on Sunday in honor of her 100th birthday.  Mrs. Smith smiled and waved as she sat under a sunshade tent set up in her driveway by Tammy and Elmer Roush, as well-wishers drove by honking and handing her balloons, cards and gifts.

Mrs. Ophelia Smith celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday, July 19, surrounded by friends (L-R) Jan Harris, Tammy Roush and Elmer Roush and Bonnie Alberts. Friends organized a drive-by birthday parade of more than 30 cars. (Photo by Danielle Reid/The Patriot)

Many of the surprise birthday parade participants were her church family from Dublin United Methodist Church who decided to do something special for Smith’s 100th birthday.  “She is the oldest member of the church,” stated Tammy Roush, one of the event organizers.  “We wanted to do something special to honor her.”

Bonnie Albert, another of the organizers of the birthday parade, commented, “It was so much fun and our church members made it the special thing it was.  Dublin is really a small community.  Our church secretary’s husband is with the Town of Dublin Police Department.  They and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department escorted the line of cars and provided crowd control,” she chuckled.

The Town of Dublin Fire Department was also on hand, perhaps because of the number of birthday candles on Mrs. Smith’s cake.

Jan Harris, a retired teacher and close friend of Smith’s, organized the decorations, birthday signage, balloons and food.  “Ophelia is always optimistic and always looks for the good in people,” said Harris.

Smith’s surprise was obvious.

“I just never dreamed I’d be here this long.  God has been with me and directed my way; and the church has been good to me. I am blessed to be here with lots of friends and in my own home since 1946,” smiled Smith.

Apparently, large families are part of Smith’s DNA.  She grew up with two sisters and four brothers; one who recently celebrated his 94th birthday.  She said she has been blessed with two sons, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

“Ophelia is really loved by our community. She remembers personal details about her friends and keeps in touch with them and encourages them.  She has a beautiful faith and always expresses her gratitude,” commented Albert.

Then thoughtfully Albert added, “She radiates the love of Christ and is a sweet soul and loved by everyone.  We need more people like her in this world.”

By DANIELLE REID, The Patriot