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Ella Reed celebrates 103rd birthday

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Mrs. Reed & her well-wishers

Celebration held at Elmcroft --
Elmcroft of Lebanon resident and longtime local educator Ms. Ella Owen Reed celebrated her 103rd birthday Thursday, July 2 marking the occasion with a party that included family, friends and former students.

Reed graduated from Lebanon High School and earned her degree in education from Middle Tennessee State University.

She said that teachers often boarded with her family when she was growing up, and it sparked an interest in the profession.

"I always wanted to be a teacher, and I've always enjoyed children," she said, adding that her sister also became a teacher.

She married Chris Reed, who passed away over a decade ago. The two never had children, but she left a lasting impression on her kids at school.

Mrs. Reed taught fourth grade at Byars Dowdy Elementary at one time, she said.

She also taught at a three-room schoolhouse, the Major School. Former students David Major, Melvin Sloan and Helen Holder Wright attended Thursday's celebration at Elmcroft.

"I felt like she always treated everybody the same way. Some people you just don't forget," Wright said.

Former Lebanon Special School District Superintendent Cordell Winfree and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto also stopped by to wish Reed a happy birthday.

Reed credited her longevity to "good genes" - her grandfather lived until the age of 105 - and living a "good Christian life."

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Byars Dowdy, Cordell Winfree, Ella Owen Reed, Elmcroft of Lebanon
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