Former resident, columnist celebrates 103 years

Published 1:39 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lucille King and her son, Ed are shown. Ms.King recently turned 103

Lucille King and her son, Ed are shown. Ms.King recently turned 103

Former Andalusia resident Lucille King recently celebrated her 103rd birthday.

She said she comes from a long line of “long livers.” Both of her parents lived to be 94 years old and according to her son, Ed King, almost everyone in the family before her lived to a ripe old age.

He is an only child and he was concerned about his mother’s welfare so he moved her from Andalusia to Brewton eight years ago. She moved into one of the suites at The Meadows Assisted Living, which gives her a sitting room, bedroom and private bath. She brought several things with her to make her feel more at home in her new settings.

“She loves it down here,” he said. “She has been living in the same rooms as she had when she came and the staff has been very good to her.”

“No small part of her longevity has been her past eight years at The Meadows of Brewton with the loving care of its wonderful staff,” he added. “She continues to enjoy the companionship of the other residents and looks forward to those three home-cooked meals each day. Visits from local ministers and church groups, Bingo parties and exercise classes keep life interesting.”

King is faithful to visit his mother almost every day and is very devoted to her. Her life has slowed down some but she still has an interest in what goes on around her and is very fond of the large window in her sitting room. She has a window which faces a large lawn. Her son has installed a bird feeder and makes sure that it is well stocked with feed.

She has a favorite saying and it applies to many things. “I’ve been there and done that,”

Now, at 103, she attributes her long life to good genes from her parents who both lived to be 94.

“I never smoked and have had excellent healthcare and dental care from my doctors and dentists,” she said. “I’ve always stayed busy and I love to travel. I have been to lots of places.”

A native of Opp, Mrs. King graduated from Huntingdon College in Montgomery. She taught English and French ing Cullman before moving to Andalusia in 1935 when she married her husband, Edgar Earl King. He was a court reporter and worked at that job for 40 years. She wrote a society column for 18 years called “Strictly Personal” which ran once a week in the Andalusia Star-News. They attended First United Methodist Church, and she became very active in her church and the civic and social life of Andalusia.

She taught private speech lessons in the Andalusia City School System and was the drama director for school plays for several years. For many years she was in demand as a speaker at literary and social clubs in Andalusia and the surrounding areas.

“Her great love was poetry and many of her club programs covered the great poets and their works,” said her son. “She can repeat all of the poem ‘Trees’ by Alfred Joyce Kilmer and everyone can’t do that.”

Mrs. King’s face lit up and she repeated the whole poem that many learned in school and promptly forgot.

“I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.”