Lela Hisel had just three wishes on her 100th birthday:
• To be with her family
• To be happy
• To do the best she can do.
But on Wednesday, Lela was granted all three and more as family and friends gathered at Kenwood Health and Rehabilitation Center to surprise the centenarian.
She spent the day being pampered, complete with hair, makeup and a manicure. But little did she know, more than 20 family members arranged to attend her 3 p.m. party.
Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes and his wife Jan also attended to proclaim Jan. 22 as Lela Hisel Day in Richmond.
“You look ready to take to prom,” Barnes said to Lela, who was dressed in a sparkling blue gown and tiara.
Kenwood’s second-oldest resident, Mildred Agee, 96, sang Lela a special birthday song her husband Pope wrote many years ago.
“I’ll sing to anybody if they want me to,” Agee said.
A limousine, courtesy of Jack VanWinkle of the Sapphire Night Club, was parked outside to take the birthday girl and her family to Red Lobster, where she could enjoy seafood, her favorite food.
A red carpet was rolled out from the entrance of Kenwood, and Lela was escorted to the limo as family and friends cheered.
“This is a time in her life when she should lean back and enjoy it,” said Janice Jackson, Kenwood’s life enrichment director.
When 101-year-old Irene Stocker passed away in August, Lela became Kenwood’s oldest resident.
“Living to be this old and to be our oldest resident has made her so happy,” Jackson said. “I always told her we were going to have a party out of this world.”
Lela was born January 22, 1914, in the Jackson County community of Hisel to the late Carter Fowler and Nancy Liz Collins. She had 14 half brothers and sisters.
Hisel attended Sinking Valley School, where she graduated from the eighth grade.
Her favorite subject was math, she said. She always enjoyed school and was eager to learn.
On September 12, 1932, she married Roy Clark Hisel, also of Hisel, and they had one son, Elbert Lee.
Lela has four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
Roy and Lela both worked on a farm where they raised corn, tobacco and other crops. When their great-grandchildren were small, Lela would cook a “big country meal” every other Sunday for her family, a meal that always included homemade ice cream, she said.
Lela was a member of the Hisel Reformed Church until it closed, and she later attended Kerby Knob First Church of God. Her faith has always been her strength, she said.
Lela lived in Jackson County after her husband’s death in 2001. At age 96, she moved to Kenwood after undergoing emergency surgery and now considers it her “home away from home,” she said.
Lela is involved in every activity Kenwood has to offer, Jackson said, and has no need for a wheelchair or other mobility aids.
When Lela was asked to lead a series of sitting exercises, she lifted her leg nearly level with her head, Jackson laughed. “All I know is that I can’t lift my leg that high.”
Crystal Wylie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 623-1669, Ext. 6696.
Kenwood celebrates oldest resident's birthday
Lela Hisel had just three wishes on her 100th birthday:
- Local News
EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
- More Local News Headlines
- EKU wins OVC tourney