Mary Alice Miller LeVering will celebrate her 100th birthday with friends and family from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, at Grace Community Church in Elma.
She was born Feb. 19, 1914, in Pawhuska, Okla., and spent her childhood in Oklahoma and St. Louis, graduating from Kirkwood High School in 1932.
She moved from St. Louis to the family farm just north of Hoquiam into the house built by her dad using old lumber salvaged from houses in Hoquiam.
Soon after she arrived, she met her soon-to-be husband, Frank. Frank would soon join the U.S. Army and while on furlough from North Carolina, they married May 5, 1943, at the Montesano Courthouse. During the war, she lived with her sister, Nancy, in the family home. She helped care for her nephew, Chri,s and worked at FG Foster Co. in Hoquiam.
Once the war was over and Frank returned home, they settled in Westport, grew lilies and sold the bulbs to make the down payment on their first house. Over the next five years, their family grew with the addition of five children.
She moved her family to Elma in 1954 when Frank became a shareholder of the Elma Plywood Corp. They became members of the First Christian Church and leaders in the Elma Guys and Gals 4-H Club.
She was the first office staff hired at Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary when the hospital opened. She eventually found her way to the Simpson Timber Co. in McCleary and became the first woman timekeeper at the mill. She retired at 62 to help with Frank’s carpet-cleaning business.
Mary Alice has belonged to the same card club for more than 50 years, was inducted into the Grays Harbor Women’s Bowling Hall of Fame, bowled until last year and is now content to cheer on her former teammates.
She has lived in Elma for more than 60 years.
Her four surviving children live in the state: Susan Thompson in Renton, Mary LeVering in Kent, Martha Craighead in Elma and Kathy Herrera in Olympia. Son Frank Jr. of Boise died 16 years ago. Her baby sister, Martha Vest, still lives in Elma. She also has eight grandshildren and 15 great-grandchildren.