When State of the Heart Hospice nurse Debbie Abernathy walked into the living room at the home of Greenville resident Beulah Zimmerman recently carrying a colorful birthday cake, a somewhat surprised Mrs. Zimmerman exclaimed, “That is just beautiful.” It was a cake baked especially for her by a State of the Heart volunteer in observance of her 104th birthday, Sunday, August 5.
Last year, Mrs. Zimmerman was the oldest person at the Great Darke County Fair. “I got $100 and a silk scarf,” she said proudly. She plans to go back to the fair again this year. She still gets around pretty good, she said, and regularly attends church at the Greenville EUM Chuch. Sunday morning, Pastor Jeff Harper will recognize her at the 8:15 a.m. services and present her with a special corsage in honor of her birthday. After church, she will go to Kathy’s Restaurant in Greenville where a table is always reserved for her.
Mrs. Zimmerman has been a hospice patient since June. “It is a blessing having State of the Heart,” said her granddaughter, Sue Barnett. “It is so helpful that we have someone to call when we need help, and often this happens at night or on the weekends. No matter when we call, we know we can rely on help and support from the hospice caregivers.”
“I really haven’t figured out how I have lived this long,” Mrs. Zimmerman said. “I have tried to live a good life. I never smoked nor drank alcohol.” She had 11 brothers and sisters; she is the last of the children, she said. “I had one sister that lived to be 101.” Several others lived to be in their 90’s.
She and her husband Charles, who died about 30 years ago, moved to Greenville in 1976. She has lived in the same house with her daughter since then. She and her husband were originally from Auglaize County and farmed, raising chickens, milking cows and raising crops and being involved in the county fair. Many of her family members live nearby and visit regularly.
Over the years, she has seen many major events in history, recalling her first ride in a car when she was five, and when women were allowed to vote and she voted for the first time.
Barnett said she has taken her grandmother to vote. “The last time, she was interested only in the presidential race and who was running for sheriff. Voting has always been important to her.” In addition to getting out to vote and to attend church, she routinely goes to the beauty salon as well.
On Sunday, the family plans a day of attending church, eating out and enjoying friends and relatives stopping by in the afternoon to extend birthday wishes for Mrs. Zimmerman.
State of the Heart Hospice, with offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland, cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. Much of the care provided by the nonprofit agency focuses on keeping the patient at home with family and meeting their individual goals. To learn more about the services, call 1-800-417-7535 or visit the web site at www.stateoftheheartcare.org.
Pictured is Beulah Zimmerman with her cake baked by a State of the Heart volunteer.