The Richmond Register

Local News

October 5, 2012

Terrace resident turns 100 today in Berea

BEREA — Out of a population of 308.7 million Americans, only around 53,000 people checked the age box “100 years and over,” according to the most recent 2010 U.S. Census Bureau records.

Today, one individual in Berea becomes part of that small group of American centenarians.

Cleona Babb will celebrate her 100th birthday today with friends and family at The Terrace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Berea, where she has lived for more than three years.

Babb was born in Station Camp in Estill County to Harlan and Julie Estes, according to activities director Beverly Satterfield, who documented the life story of Babb in the nursing home’s newsletter.

Babb told Satterfield she grew up on a farm and was the eldest of sibling of four sisters Delma, Alma, Ann and Laura.

“I grew up on top of a mountain,” Babb said. “I walked two miles each way to the grocery store, church and school.”

Babb attended Station Camp School and never owned a car until she was married, she said.

“We raised all our food and canned food for the winter,” Babb told Satterfield. “After our chores were done, we would play for hours outdoors. All the young people would gather and play ball and horseshoes.”

One of the happiest days of her life was getting to go to the movies, Babb said.

Babb met John William Babb at church and they married in 1934.

The couple had three children, Jewell, Shirley and Darlene. Cleona now has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Throughout her life, Cleona was a homemaker and worked as a house cleaner, cook and caretaker for other families, as well as her own.  

“Cleona is a joy to talk with. She’s had many life experiences and we all could learn something from her,” Satterfield said.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, ext. 6696.

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