Local woman celebrates 102nd birthday

Friends and family gathered on Friday to celebrate Laverne Douglass'  102nd birthday. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)
Friends and family gathered on Friday to celebrate Laverne Douglass' 102nd birthday. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)

In 1921, Warren Harding became President of the United States, the silent film "The Kid" by Charlie Chaplin was released, and the World Series was broadcast for the first time on the radio.

Also notable -- in December, longtime El Dorado resident Laverne Douglass was born.

Douglass celebrated another birthday on Friday at Hudson Memorial Nursing Home where friends, family and staff members of the home gathered to mark the occasion.

Mayor Paul Choate also attended, and spoke with Douglass before declaring Dec. 1 as Laverne Douglass Day in the city. He read a proclamation that summarized Douglass' life and contributions to El Dorado.

Born Dec. 1, 1921, in Banks, Ark., Douglass grew up with her parents and siblings in a home without indoor plumbing and with a wood-burning stove.

"She met and married A.G. Faulkner and moved to Camden, where her only son, Dwayne, was born. Later on she found herself divorced, a single mom with a small son to care for," Choate read.

She met her second husband, Gene Douglass, while working at the Bon-Ton Cafe in Camden, and the two married and moved to El Dorado.

In El Dorado, she began working at the The Town House Restaurant in 1958.

"She retired as a cashier when she was 92 years young. She always wore bright clothes and her hair was always perfect... She loved fishing, camping, traveling and playing dominoes,"Choate read.

Douglass now has two grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and ten great-great grandchildren.

"On behalf of the community she served and brought many smiles to, [I] express appreciation to Laverne Douglass... We were all blessed to have her serve us," Choate continued before placing a birthday crown on Douglass' head.

Hudson staff members helped serve birthday cake and other food to conclude the celebrations following the speech.

"Thank you to everyone that came -- I really appreciate it," Douglass said.

photo El Dorado Mayor Paul Choate declared Dec. 1 as Laverne Douglass Day in El Dorado while marking her 102nd birthday. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)

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