ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — Valentine’s Day came a day early in Ashland this year. On Thursday afternoon, the Kingsbrook Nursing Home radiated love, as one very special lady was celebrating a milestone birthday.
Gladys Ann Davis was born on February 13, 1920. Woodrow Wilson was president and gas cost only 25 cents a gallon.
“I guess I am getting old,” Gladys said with a laugh. She was full of smiles Thursday afternoon.
A lot has changed in her 100 years. However, one thing remained constant.
“Hard work is all I have ever known,” she told 13 News Reporter Lily Bradley.
Gladys is no stranger to hard work. She became a widower at a very young age, after her husband was killed during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She had to raise her four children, all under the age of 5 by herself. They lived in an old log house in Boyd County.
“It was hard to feed 4 children in that era that we lived in,” explained Gladys’ oldest daughter, Gertrude Tackett. “She was pretty strong.”
“Everyday at lunchtime we had a hot meal. Everyday, because mom cooked it for us and brought it to us. Every single day,” remembered her daughter, Marguaret Helms.
If you ask Gladys how she managed, her answer is simple: love. Fitting for a woman, who was born the day before Valentine’s Day. That love is still very much present if you see her and her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. At last count, Gladys has 92 descendants spanning six generations.
“It is wonderful. God has been good to us. We have had a lot of happy days, a lot of family days, and we just take each day as we can,” said Tackett.
Earlier this week she was very sick with pneumonia, but she made a remarkable recovery.
“Earlier this week, we didn’t know if she was going to have a 100th birthday so we are celebrating today,” said Tackett.
Helms added, “There is nothing compared to having your mother 100 years. You don’t realize growing up how hard it was for her, and how blessed we are to have her now. It is a miracle, and I am so proud that I still got my mother.”