By JUDY WELLS

Feature writer

Last Saturday, Jan. 11, approximately 120 family members, neighbors and friends gathered at the Rose Hill Church to celebrate the birthday of Mildred Myers. But this was no ordinary birthday party. On Tuesday, Mildred turned 100 years old. She’d been born at home near Tipton on Jan. 13, 1920.

Mildred Coil was born in Paulding County and has lived most of her life here. Her dad, Ed, was a farmer and her mother, Lura, was a housewife. Like so many other couples back then, they lived wherever Ed could find work. Except for about two years when she was just a youngster, Mildred has lived in Paulding County, mostly in the Oakwood/Melrose area, since 1930. That’s the year the family moved back to Ohio from Michigan, where they’d moved so Ed could work as a farm hand.

Back in Ohio, Mildred attended school in Melrose and Oakwood and graduated from Oakwood School in 1938. She married Ancel Myers, whom she met at a dance, later that same year. The couple lived with Ancel’s parents on a farm north of Oakwood on Route 66. Their first of 12 children, Marilyn, was born later in 1938.

Two years later, Mildred and Ancel moved into their own home, where Mildred still lives today. Madeline was born there and so was Melvin. The other children - Martin, Marion, Eddie, Rolly, Bob, Marsha, Keith, Roger and Jan - were born at the hospital in either Paulding or Defiance. Mildred gave birth to one child in the 1930s, five in the 1940s, four in the 1950s, and two in the 1960s.

Mildred can still recall her childhood, teenage and early adult years and the good times she had with her family on the farm, both as a child and as a mom with children of her own. She says she cherishes every moment they were together and would do it all over again despite the hardships. Three of her children – Marilyn, Melvin and Eddie - are now deceased. Marty lives in Arizona; Madeline lives in North Carolina and Marsha lives in Michigan. All the others live in Ohio. Mildred’s husband, Ancel, passed away in 1986. They’d been married 46 years and raised 12 children together.

Today, Mildred has over 100 grandchildren, great- and great-great grandchildren. She cherishes each and every one of them and says she knows she is loved by all of them. She feels her life has truly been blessed.

Read more of Mildred’s story in the next issue of The Visions, which will be a part of the Paulding County Progress in July.