“It’s very amazing,” her granddaughter Denise Ford said, referring to Glenn’s longevity. “... It’s just hard to describe. It’s unbelievable. ... She’s an inspiration to me because she’s ... [full of] energy and full of life.
“... I can’t speak for the entire family because there’s so many of us, the extended family, but I’ve spent a lot of time with her and she’s a motivator for me, because when I’m down or feeling down or having a bad day I [visit] her. I come up here, and she’ll say something funny.”
Born in 1910, Glenn was raised in Cassville, received her education in a one-room building with other African-American youth in her community, and she remembers picking cotton as a teenager. She married the late James Monroe Glenn Sr. and from that union came eight children, 18 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren. Four of her children are still living: Katherine Barnes, Emma Edwards, Elnora Ford and Martha Turner.
Working as a nanny for many years, Glenn also was known for her baking, outspokenness, singing and attending worship services at Shiloh Baptist Church in Stilesboro, where she currently is the oldest member.
To honor the contributions of seniors and their increasing longevity, May is designated as Older Americans Month, which this year featured the theme, “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living’s website, www.acl.gov, “When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as ‘Senior Citizens Month.’
“Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called ‘Older Americans Month,’ and has become a tradition. Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since JFK has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.”