Jeanette Shaw is simply unbelievable

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

It’s unbelievable to anyone who knows her, but Jeanette Shaw will be 100 years old on March 9.

There’s to be a celebration in the fellowship hall of Montevallo’s First Baptist Church to mark the wonderful occasion.

Shaw (Contributed)

Shaw (Contributed)

When asked to what she attributed her long life, Jeanette said, “I guess I just had good genes. Dad was 96 when he died. I always walked a lot, too. I used to enjoy walking in the neighborhood and visiting with the children.”

Our beautiful birthday lady has lived in Montevallo since she was four years old.

She remembers when there were no paved streets in town – just red mud roads. She attended elementary school in the Jeter Building and high school first in Reynolds Hall, and then in the “new” high school.

Jeanette was the second of the 10 children of Dr. and Mrs. William Mitchell. Her father was a local dentist.

“Growing up in a large family was hard sometimes,” she admitted. “I remember helping with the babies while Mama cooked, but I left home before the youngest was born.”

Jeanette smiled as she talked about her life. “I kept books for my husband’s automobile business, but otherwise I never worked away from home.

“I always had a new car and lots of friends and we had a good time running around together. There were about 10 of us: Exer Fulman, Minnie Lou Warnke, Bill Eddings, Bernice Vann Wilkinson, Marie Fancher and Georgia Mae Edwards were some of them. My husband and I loved to dance, too. People would stop to watch. We were good partners.”

Today Jeanette has slowed down a bit, but she still enjoys life and fills her days with reading, watching TV game shows and the birds in her backyard and visiting with friends and with her sisters, Celeste and Eleanor, by phone.

She shows her independence, too, as she drives herself to the grocery store and to adjoining towns for doctors’ appointments.

All of Jeanette’s friends are invited to her birthday party at First Baptist where she has been a member for 86 years.

The party is from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, in the Fellowship Hall. No gifts please.

Catherine Legg can be reached by email at