Alabaster resident celebrates 100th birthday

Published 1:41 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

ALABASTER – Even on her 100th birthday, Alabaster resident Ella Lee Hammond Lynn felt the same as ever on Tuesday, June 20.

“It feels just like it did yesterday,” she said.

Lynn shared the secret behind making it to her centennial birthday.

“I never cursed, I never told dirty jokes (and) I didn’t drink alcohol,” she said.

Lynn was born on June 20, 1923 in Hopehull and spent a majority of her life living in Montgomery before moving to Alabaster in 2020. Lynn was born the fifth child out seven.

“We were just real country kids,” Lynn said. “We climbed trees, we played in the yard. There were no iPads, no computers and of course we didn’t miss them.”

Growing up, Lynn and her family bathed in a wash tub and used a wooden outhouse before they eventually moved to Montgomery

“I was 14 when we moved to town,” she said. “We had an inside toilet, and we had a big ole bath tub. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I got in that warm water and slipped in.”

For Lynn, out of all the things that have changed in the past century, technology is the biggest change of them all.

“We knew nothing about what was going on if we didn’t hear it on the radio,” she said. “These kids nowadays they got all the news in the world. It’s making children smarter.”

Lynn remembers the introduction of televisions and how it changed the way people received the news.

“Television really changed our world too,” she said. “It brought all of the world into (the room), and now we know what’s going on in other places.”

At the age of 20, Lynn enlisted with the U.S. Navy on Nov. 9, 1943 and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVE).

“In 1941, Japan made the mistake of bombing pearl harbor and awakened a sleeping giant,” Lynn said. “Roosevelt knew he had to get into the war. So, that’s how it started. And then I helped him, I joined the greatest Navy in the world.”

Lynn shared she believes that the Navy helped discipline her as well as helped her meet new people.

“You met friends from all over the world and that was a good thing,” she said. “One good thing about the war was it brought the north and south together.”

Her time spent in the Navy during World War II was a source of many important lessons for Lynn.

“When you join and get there, you can’t go home,” she said. “You’re there. I think it helps discipline you and it teaches you that war is a terrible thing and when this one is over you hope we never go to another one.”

After her time serving with the Navy, Lynn met the love of her life, Robert Maxwell Lynn.

“I went back to farmers home and guess what, my husband was there,” she said. “I didn’t know he was going to be my husband, but all those girls were talking about that good-looking man.”

Three months later, Robert and Ella got married on Dec. 1, 1946. During their time together, they had three children—Robert Maxwell Lynn Jr., Marty Lynn Brom and Mathew Garnett Lynn.

Lynn has had many fascinations in her life, including teaching kindergarten, and one of her favorite activities was her involvement with Toastmasters in which delivered speeches, eulogies, a “charge” at weddings and Sunday school lessons.

These days, she continues to find time to enjoy the little things.

“I love Amish romances,” she said. “I read entertaining things.”

Lynn enjoys coloring books and has a deep love for poetry and can quote some of her favorites including “The Secret” and “In Flanders Fields.”

She continues to enjoy her favorite southern meal of Publix fried chicken, fried okra and fried cornbread as well as her famous recipe for a sour cream pound cake.

“Robert and me would go to church and come in and I’d make a pound cake and he’d go to sleep,” she said. “when he would wake up, we’d have pound cake and coffee.”

Lynn enjoys the company of her daughter Marty Brom as well as time with her large family which includes 3 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

“Life goes on and life changes and you just make the best of it—trust the Lord to see you through the day,” she said. “Look at me, I’m doing good wouldn’t you say?”