Laurelhurst resident celebrates 103rd birthday

Published 10:59 am Monday, December 4, 2023

COLUMBUS—Laurelhurst resident Martha Kerr Brinson celebrated her 103rd birthday on Saturday in the company of friends, family and staff. Although her actual birthday was on November 30, the party was scheduled for Saturday so everyone invited could attend.

Despite having only lived at the Senior Living Center for two months, Martha’s big day was celebrated in style, with the staff and management providing a table full of food, shiny balloons and a pair of cakes adorned with the number 103.

“I’m very happy to see so many friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen in years,” Martha says.

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Martha’s daughter, Dede Brinson of Columbus, was genuinely appreciative and even shed a tear when discussing the outpouring of love for her mother. She pointed out that at least ten people made the trip from Mooresville, where Martha was born and raised as one of twelve children.

Friends, family and Laurelhurst staff celebrate Martha’s big day. (Photo by Storme Smith)

Dede spoke highly of the Laurelhurst staff, their work putting the party together and how they care for her mother. “They have been wonderful,” said Dede. “They treat her like a rockstar and make her feel right at home.”

Martha and her late husband Lewis, a local Kiwanis chapter member, moved to Polk County from Daytona Beach in 1979. When asked why they moved to the area, Martha said, “I did not like Daytona Beach, and I love the woods, which was one of the reasons we chose to move here and to be closer to my family in Mooresville.”

Martha attributes the secret to her longevity to hard work. 

“I grew up on a farm riding horses, taking care of animals and doing all the hard work that comes with being on a farm. I think that’s the number one reason. We were all raised not to be afraid of hard work.”

Laurelhurst management, led by Ann Watts, cherished the opportunity to celebrate Martha’s big day.

The staff provided food, balloons and a pair of cakes adorned with the number 103. (Photo by Storme Smith)

“She is the first resident since I’ve been here to celebrate such a milestone, and we are honored to be able to celebrate with her,” said Watts.

Born in 1920, Brinson has seen many changes in her lifetime, including the invention of sliced bread when she was just 8 years old.

Overall, the celebration was a testament to Brinson’s resilience, her family and the local community, as well as the loving care she receives at Laurelhurst.