Nonagenarians celebrate long life

By Tony Parra

Gov. Bill Richardson in a proclamation said people over the age of 90 from New Mexico are one of our greatest treasures and those from Roosevelt County were honored in the Sixth Annual Roosevelt County nonagenarian tea party which took place on Wednesday afternoon.
The event was created to honor residents of the county that are 90 or older.
Edna Burnett, at the age of 102, was recognized as the oldest person present at the Senior Citizens Center. An organizer placed a crown, donated by Woody’s Jewelry,, on Burnett.
“I’ve been living here since I’ve been born,” Burnett said about living in the area.
Burnett’s daughter, Jessie Whitehead, said they used to live on a farm 17 miles northeast of Dora.
J.C. Blakeley, who is 93 years old, was honored as the oldest man present at the tea party.
“We received a proclamation from Gov. Bill Richardson to celebrate people over the age of 90,” Senior Citizens Director Jim Good said. “We’re celebrating their lives and celebrating our roots. They have done a lot for the community.”
Carlos Pena, at the age of 94, was recognized as oldest man at last year’s event, while Gladys Wood was recognized as oldest lady at the age of 98.
“They (seniors) still contribute to the community,” Good said. “They have experienced a lot. They did many things none of us need to forget.”
Mildred Plexico said she’s still active despite having a walker and being 93.
“They (seniors) stay busy,” Plexico said. “I don’t stay at home. I’m crocheting a lot.”
Plexico had some special guests with her. There were five generations of Plexicos at the tea party. Plexico’s daughter, Mary Louise Childress; granddaughter, Kathy Corbett; great granddaughter; Amelia Corbett and two great-great-granddaughters, Ellexus Hales (age 3) and Atallex (age 2).
Plexico said family members came from California and Georgia to visit her.
“This is wonderful,” Plexico said. “This is a surprise for me. They (family members) kept their visit a secret from me. I hadn’t seen Ellexus and Atallex since they were babies.”
The Miller Band, which performs each year at the Floyd Country Jamboree, entertained the crowd.
Earl Busby said he enjoys coming to the Senior Citizen Center and spends almost five hours a day at the center. He said he enjoyed spending time with friends and sitting back and playing dominoes.
“I’ve been coming here since I lost my husband in 1999,” Wanda Grider said. “We’ve lost seven or eight over the age of 90 who were here last year for the tea party. It’s nice to see the ones who do come back.”