Courtesy photo 101 year old Leaor Dennard celebrates another year of life with family and friends recently. Dennard was born March 22, 1912 and has over 50 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
published: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Dennard, 101, honorary grandmother to many
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
AVON PARK -- Leaor Dennard is a well-known woman in her neighborhood in Avon Park. Many youngsters who aren't even related to her have taken her as their honorary grandmother over the years, and the years are many.
Dennard celebrated her 101st birthday on March 22.
"She was born and raised in Brady County, Ga. We moved to Avon Park 44 years ago," said Dennard's daughter Daisy, 66. "My father came here way back then and he liked it then he came back and got all of us."
Dennard gave birth to four daughters; Daisy is the only living child. Dennard's husband died 15 years ago, around the same time Dennard was declared legally blind.
Though her eyesight is poor, Daisy stated that her mother is in all-around good health for someone of her age.
"She is blind but everything else is pretty good. She has a very good appetite. She loves to eat. As soon as I walk in the door everyday she is yelling at me that she's hungry," Daisy said with a laugh.
Working as a housekeeper at Walker Memorial Hospital for nearly two decades, Dennard used her early years to look after those who were in need. Now, she is returned the favor of her many years of hard work by those who love her the most.
Daisy takes care of her mother daily along with hired help.
"I was not going to let her go to a nursing home. I feel that she is not going to get the care that she would get here at a nursing home," Daisy said.
Dennard lives with her granddaughter and great-grandson. She often gets up from her bed and moves about her home, which her daughter and caregiver don't mind at all.
"The way I see it is she's 101 years old, she can do whatever it is she wants," Daisy said.
Dennard's short-term memory is fading and a doctor recently diagnosed her with dementia.
"He said that it's going to get worse but it is amazing, she can remember something that happened years and years and years ago. She's knows how old she is most of the time, but sometimes she will say that she is 99," said Daisy.
Dennard's family has been holding big celebrations for her birthday since she turned 87. Each year, friends and family join together to celebrate Dennard's impressive life. For her 100th birthday last year, 65 people gathered. Last week's 101st birthday celebration brought together 75 of Dennard's closest family and friends.
"Everyone loves her. Even these kids around her that aren't related to us call her grandmother. She's very well-known. It's a blessing for me to be my age, a lot of people don't make it this far, but to be her age, to live a life this long is rare no matter how you look at it," Daisy said.
The 101-year-old has outlived many other friends and family members but has many more around to show her care and love every day. Dennard's 26 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren are all leaves on a big tree of life anchored by love and history.
Mrs.Dennard (by: Blindman~ - 4/1/2013)
101 years is amazing. Wishing you well, Leaor.
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