When Aline Mitchell was born in 1915, the world was a different place. She was a bubbling baby with bright eyes and a toothless grin.
One hundred and four years later, she’s still bubbling with spirit, and has all of her teeth, even though she’s had to slow down a bit in the last three years.
Mitchell was given a birthday salute Sunday at Ouachita Rehabilitation Nursing Facility, hosted by family and friends.
Rev. Clarence Jackson, pastor of the Riverside Baptist Church, told family and friends gathered for the day that Mitchell was a pioneer member of the congregation when he became its pastor 37 years ago.
“She is a beautiful spirit and well loved at Riverside,” said Rev. Jackson.
Now confined to a wheelchair, Mitchell, known affectionately by her middle name of “Helen” was married for over 50 years and kept her vows. She did not have children, but her house was always filled with the children of others, a half dozen or more she reared to adulthood.
When that wasn’t enough, she became a foster parent as well and mentored others.
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 98, she drove herself back and forth to chemotherapy sessions and drove herself around town until she was 100 years old.
Family members took the keys when her health began to fail, but she remains a source of joy for the family. Her sense of independence, loyalty to family and love of family have inspired other members of the family.
She is the only living aunt of Donald Fred Mitchell. He and his wife Jeanette arranged for the birthday celebration and helped her slice a piece of birthday cake for her guests.
Moved with emotion Mrs. Mitchell mumbled words of thanks to everyone for remembering her birthday.