- Your News
By ANDREA AGARDY
A Tullahoma resident recently celebrated a major milestone in the best way she could imagine – surrounded by friends and family.
Mary Goddard Scott, who resides in a distinctive purple house on Blackburn Lane, traveled to her daughter and son-in-law’s home outside of Atlanta to celebrate her 100th birthday on June 24 with a garden party.
“It was a wonderful party and a beautiful day,” Scott said. “People who didn’t know each other talked, and it was very enjoyable.”
Scott estimated that between 30 and 40 guests came in from all over the country to help her celebrate the milestone.
“They came from all over the places I’ve been,” she said. “My great-grandson and great-granddaughter came in from Hawaii. We just enjoyed, we had four generations there. It was wonderful that everybody was able to take the time to come. And I heard from all of those who couldn’t make it”
Born in Worcester, Mass. In 1912, Scott and her family moved to Shrewsbury, Mass. when she was 16 years old, shortly after her father’s death. After graduating from high school, she went to work at Worcester Massachusetts Hospital, where she became a certified radiology and laboratory technician.
“When I graduated high school, my doctor said he thought it would be a good thing for me, so I got a job in a hospital in Worcester and that’s where I got my education,” Scott said. “Everyone said I was pretty good at it and I enjoyed it.”
Scott’s daughter, Ann Rechtman, said that when her mother began working as a lab and radiology tech, there were few women in the field.
“For her age, she was young and adventurous because women didn’t go out and get careers, but she did,” Rechtman said. “She’s very liberated.” Scott took the credentials she earned in Worcester and went on to work in hospitals all along the East Coast, including in Cape Cod, New York and Virginia and finally in Miami, where she me Alfred A. Scott, known to friends as “Scottie,” the man she would marry and raise five children with. Mary was predeceased by two of her daughters, Patricia and Mary.
The Scotts relocated to Franklin, N.C. in the 1970s, where Scottie passed away in the late 1970s. Mary remained there as an active member of the community, volunteering with a local hospice organization by serving as its chief nursing coordinator and helping develop the town’s volunteer fire department.
Mary relocated to Tullahoma in the late 1990s, to be nearer to her son, Edwin, and his family. She soon became an active member of the community again, organizing a Mahjong group with the cooperation of the county’s senior center and tending to her garden.
Mary continued to drive until she was 95 years old.
“I quit [driving] because I wasn’t seeing properly and I was afraid I would do harm to someone,” she said.
“My son was getting nervous,” she added with a laugh.
As she aged, Mary eventually had to give up planting and weeding her garden on her own, although she still takes a great deal of pride in her property.
“I gardened for a long time, until I fell and broke my hip five years ago,” she said. “Now I’m 2 inches shorter on one side because of the hip and I walk with a cane. But I tell other people what to do [in the garden] and they’re doing a good job.”
When asked what her secret is to living such a long and full life, Scott laughed and said she really didn’t have any advice to offer.
“I don’t think I have any special secret,” she said. “Eat right, don’t drink and exercise. I did tai chi for a while and I was pretty good at it. I’d say it’s just living a good, healthy life and being cautious.”
Rechtman attributed her mother’s longevity to, “good genes, healthy living and raising five kids that drove her nuts.”
Andrea Agardy can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.