Local woman marks 109th birthday

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com
Lillie Nunn waves to the paparazzi (a herd of staff and media taking photos) as she poses with her family for a 109th birthday photo. From left to right are Bernice Nunn, Jan Vernon, Troy Nunn, Jr., Lillie Nunn and Paschel “Sammy” Vernon. - Bill Colvard | The News
Central Continuing Care residents join Lillie Nunn and her family to celebrate Nunn’s 109th birthday on Tuesday. - Bill Colvard | The News
Lillie Nunn, left, put down her cake to have a photo made with social worker Kim Payne, right. Ms. Nunn’s stepson Troy Nunn, Jr. is behind her. - Bill Colvard | The News
Lillie Nunn, right, investigates the balloon weiner dog given to her by a staff member as Trelesa Hodges observes. Nunn proceeded to remodel the dog into something else entirely. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Lillie Nunn, center, gets the first slice of cake from Trelesa Hodges, right, while Nunn’s family holds up the numerals “109” for her 109th birthday. - - Bill Colvard | The News

Lillie Nunn’s birthday cake did not have candles on it at her birthday party, but if it had, it would have been quite a blaze.

Nunn celebrated her 109th birthday on Tuesday in the chapel at Central Continuing Care where she lives. Known to staff and residents alike as Miss Lillie, Nunn greeted her guests with glee, most of whom seemed equally as excited to be present.

“I’ve never been to a 109th birthday party,” was a recurring comment.

Nunn was presented with a bouquet of balloons and a balloon wiener dog presented to her by staff member Patsy Payne. Nunn proceeded to refashion the balloon dog, her freshly manicured hands never slowing.

“I watched a YouTube video to learn how to do it,” said Payne. “I had to watch it several times.”

Nunn needed no instruction to remodel the balloon dog into something else entirely.

“I don’t have to wash dishes here,” Nunn confided happily, having finished with her balloon. “We have maids to wash the dishes.” Her stepson Troy Nunn Jr. seemed a bit taken aback by the maids but rolled with it.

About that time, Ms. Nunn caught sight of Paschel Vernon, known to the family as Sammy, who had just arrived with his wife Jan. “There’s my baby,” Nunn sang out.

Vernon leaned in for a kiss, beaming with delight and saying, “I haven’t been called a baby in a long time.”

Another stepson, Philip Delano Nunn, a disabled veteran who lives in Texas, was not able to make the trip, but Bernice Nunn, wife of deceased stepson Foster, was present for the occasion.

Nunn had one biological child, Sherman Young, who served in the military and died of cancer. Troy Nunn said his stepmother had one sister that he knows of, but she has passed on.

According to Troy Nunn Jr., who arrived first, bringing his stepmother to the chapel where her party was held, Lillie grew up in Mount Airy and lived here until she married his father in 1970. They traveled extensively, his dad’s swimming pool business taking them to various locations. But they kept some property in Mount Airy to come back to.

Nunn’s father lived until 2007, and then Lillie lived on her own until she was 100. Nunn had moved to Mount Airy to take care of the both of them, after living in Greensboro for 50 years, and when Lillie was 100, she moved in with him until coming to Central Continuing Care in March 2014.

The matriarch told the family 10 years ago she was going to live to be 113, said Bernice Nunn, and they say she doesn’t even take any medicine.

So Miss Lillie’s family and everyone at Central Continuing Care had better make plans for Sept. 25, 2019. They’ll have a chance to attend their first 110th birthday party, if Lillie Nunn has anything to say about it.

Lillie Nunn waves to the paparazzi (a herd of staff and media taking photos) as she poses with her family for a 109th birthday photo. From left to right are Bernice Nunn, Jan Vernon, Troy Nunn, Jr., Lillie Nunn and Paschel “Sammy” Vernon.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_2132-1.jpgLillie Nunn waves to the paparazzi (a herd of staff and media taking photos) as she poses with her family for a 109th birthday photo. From left to right are Bernice Nunn, Jan Vernon, Troy Nunn, Jr., Lillie Nunn and Paschel “Sammy” Vernon. Bill Colvard | The News

Central Continuing Care residents join Lillie Nunn and her family to celebrate Nunn’s 109th birthday on Tuesday.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_2140-1.jpgCentral Continuing Care residents join Lillie Nunn and her family to celebrate Nunn’s 109th birthday on Tuesday. Bill Colvard | The News

Lillie Nunn, left, put down her cake to have a photo made with social worker Kim Payne, right. Ms. Nunn’s stepson Troy Nunn, Jr. is behind her.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_2156-1.jpgLillie Nunn, left, put down her cake to have a photo made with social worker Kim Payne, right. Ms. Nunn’s stepson Troy Nunn, Jr. is behind her. Bill Colvard | The News

Lillie Nunn, right, investigates the balloon weiner dog given to her by a staff member as Trelesa Hodges observes. Nunn proceeded to remodel the dog into something else entirely.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_2114-1.jpgLillie Nunn, right, investigates the balloon weiner dog given to her by a staff member as Trelesa Hodges observes. Nunn proceeded to remodel the dog into something else entirely. Bill Colvard | The News

Lillie Nunn, center, gets the first slice of cake from Trelesa Hodges, right, while Nunn’s family holds up the numerals “109” for her 109th birthday.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_2151-1.jpgLillie Nunn, center, gets the first slice of cake from Trelesa Hodges, right, while Nunn’s family holds up the numerals “109” for her 109th birthday. Bill Colvard | The News

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.