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Shoemakersville Woman Celebrates 100th Birthday

Story written by Kendra High

May 27, 2020

BLANDON, Pa. — Rivaling two pandemics, Evelyn Gibson has much to celebrate. Born during the Spanish flu in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 20, 1920, the centenarian has witnessed many challenging and life-changing events throughout history.

On Wednesday, Gibson, a resident at Keystone Villa at Fleetwood, marked her big day a little differently this year. Instead of an intimate gathering with loved ones, the retirement community and family members orchestrated a drive-by parade, complete with decorated vehicles and party hats.

“She’s a great woman, and she taught us (her children) how to care for others,” said her daughter, Nancy. “She’s always giving outwardly, and did a lot for the community and others.”

Gibson got into nursing for that reason—to help others. She received training at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where she met her husband, Ernest, a British merchant mariner. The couple married in 1946 and later settled in Shoemakersville.

She was a nurse for many years working at St. Joseph Hospital and then Reading Hospital until her retirement. She was very community-oriented and donated her time to countless organizations, including the Perry PTA, Perry School minstrels, Rotary Ann, Boombah Band, women’s chorus, Shoemakersville Area Senior Citizens Club, and Shoemakersville Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary.

Gibson is a devoted mother of two children, a son, Noel, and daughter, Nancy. She also is a proud grandmother of four granddaughters, Kelli, Kristen, Amy and Brieane, and three great-grandchildren, Xander, Conner and Alexis.

She is also a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church located in Hamburg.

Photos: Susan L. Angstadt

Keystone Villa at Fleetwood offers energizing fitness classes, deliciously prepared meals, and many more activities for seniors to enjoy. Our retirement community provides independent living and personal care options with services and amenities that create a carefree and comfortable lifestyle. Keystone Villa at Fleetwood has spacious floor plan options to choose from, including studios, one-and two-bedroom apartments. In addition, there are no buy-in fees or hidden costs, and the apartments are leased on an affordable month-to-month basis. To learn more, visit or call 484-637-8200.

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