Ms. Lillie Virginia Nichols will turn 100 years young Friday, October 27 but her family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday last Saturday at her favorite restaurant, The Oaks. Ms. Nichols was the center of attention among 76 guests who came to celebrate her special day.
Ms. Nichols was one of seven children, including a twin sister, Linnie Louise. They both had nicknames with Linnie being called Linnie Lou and Lillie always being Lillie V. She has two children Roger Nichols and Barbara Peacock, seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Ms. Nichols has had a very fulfilling life, working until she retired at 90 years old 10 years ago from Carr Elementary School where she began her first job. She began working in the lunchroom at Carr when her children were in school and then went to work at Christo’s Five & Dime in Marianna. From there she went to Stanfill’s Five and Dime before going next door to work at Bailey’s Variety Store, both of those located in Blountstown. Not ready to call it quits in the working world, Ms. Lillie Nichols returned to where it all started, working part time, four hours a day at Carr School. Ms. Nichols retired from Carr School 10 years ago at 90 years of age.
Ms. Nichols now lives with her daughter, Barbara Peacock in Marianna and conveniently very close to her favorite restaurant. She told the TIMES Saturday, “The fried chicken is really good and at night the catfish are good.”
Her daughter Barbara told the TIMES, “She still does her own makeup and is very particular about that and her hair. She’s not missed a beauty shop appointment in more years than I can remember. She used to go to Mrs. Beth in Blountstown but when she moved in with us almost six years ago, we changed her to Audrey at the WalMart Shop. Now she goes to Marcia White at Hair Clinic. She’s been to three hairdressers and she pretty much doesn’t change hairdressers. And she has always bought her clothes in the junior petite section, she likes younger clothes, not the old people’s clothes.”
The family is very close, taking vacations every year in the fall, near her birthday. They can’t always be on her day but they are close to it. She now attends the Morman church in Marianna with Barbara and her family although she maintains contact at Poplar Head Baptist Church in Clarksville. Barbara says they take her to Poplar Head occasionally on Sunday nights when they are having a special program.
Another area where Ms. Nichols was very particular was her lawn when she lived in Clarksville. According to her daughter, they basically had to disable her lawnmower because she Katherine Lindsey who lived next door were adamant about their yards being manicured, “After we disabled her lawnmower, my brother and I would take turns going down there to mow her yards. She and Mrs. Katherine Lindsey were not going to have their grass growing too high. I would go one week, take her to the store, put up her groceries and see about what needed to be done and the next week my brother would do the same thing.”
Barbara says there is a lot of longevity in Clarksville. One of Ms. Lillie’s classmates, Ms. Irma Walden was at the celebration last Saturday. Another relative makes baskets still today out of white oak and is in his 80s.
One of the highlights of Saturday’s celebration was the singing and playing of the guitar by Ms. Lillie’s grandson, Jeffery. He played by request, the hymn How Great Thou Are and a favorite song of hers, I’m Walking the Floor Over You.
Ms. Nichols, for the most part, enjoys good health. She does have some medicines she takes but no life-threatening illnesses at this time. Barbara says she enjoys life every day, wants to look pretty every day and enjoys seeing all of her family and friends.