Stephanie Carpentier of Highland wanted to share with the community a very special birthday event that occurred in her family recently. Her mother, Edna Valentine-Staats, a native Virginian, celebrated her centennial birthday on June 21.
Ms. Edna was born in Chesterfield County, Va., the first of nine children. She and her first husband, Raymond Valentine, had three children. While Raymond worked, Ms. Edna was the homemaker.
When he passed from this life in 1952, she went back to Virginia State University, where she completed her degree and worked as the director of volunteer services at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va., a hospital that dates back to the time of the Civil War. In 1995, she wed her second husband, Edward Staats, and, until three years ago, she and Edward lived alone in their home in Petersburg.
Alas, their twilight romance developed some bumps in the road. Due to Edward's medical conditions, his daughter moved him down to Jonesboro, Ga., where she is taking care of him.
Stephanie brought her mom home to Highland, where she has been living ever since. Ms. Edna was a member of several card-playing groups and was a founding member of the Epicureans, now known as the National Epicureans Inc., whose purpose is "to inspire its members to a high moral, intellectual, social and civic standing."
At 100, Edna gets around very well with the help of a walker. And, more importantly, she still has her own teeth. Her birthday party was celebrated with friends and relatives from far and near.
And, Ms. Edna was "stylin' in her mink coat" all during her party. Just think what Ms. Edna has seen in her 100 years. From the horse and buggy to the horseless carriage to cars and trucks everywhere; steam locomotives traveling an incredible 35 mph to bullet trains capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph.
When asked how she's doing, Ms. Edna will respond, "Oh, I'm comin' along." Happy belated 100th birthday, Ms. Edna.