WILMINGTON – The name of the facility is the St. Francis LIFE Center, and on Jan. 15, life is exactly what the staff and visitors were celebrating. Sara Fleetwood, a client of the center, was the honored guest, feted by friends, family and staff on the occasion of her 100th birthday.
Fleetwood, who was born Jan. 11, 1920, sat at a table with balloons surrounded by well-wishers. A staff member sang a birthday song that had the room clapping along and a few up and dancing. Wayne Fleetwood, her grandson, talked about how much his grandmother meant to him.
“She’s always been there for me above everybody,” he said. “That’s my world. We’re going to be together until the end.”
Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman, pastor of Fleetwood’s longtime church, Bethel A.M.E. in Wilmington, recalled her many years of service to the church. Rev. Beaman said she was in charge in the kitchen for many years.
“If any of us can get to that age, it’s a blessing,” he said.
Fleetwood took it all in, occasionally flashing a smile.
“I love them all,” she said of her friends and family. “I tried to take care of everyone.”
The party ended with Fleetwood receiving a certificate for reaching the century mark, plus a large cake. Then it was more music and dancing.