Florine “Mom” Ball celebrates 105 years

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Florine Ball celebrated her 105th birthday on Friday, May 30. Florine Ball celebrated her 105th birthday on Friday, May 30. CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Florine Ball celebrated her 105th birthday last Friday, May 30, surrounded by members of the First Baptist Church of Whitesboro, and the staff and residents of the Courthouse Convalescent Center in Cape May Court House.

“We call her Mom Ball,” said Dorothea McNeal, an activity aid with the center. “She’s the mother of the building.”

Ball was born in Georgia in 1909 on the same day as Benny Goodman, the jazz musician who would later be known as the King of Swing.

Like Goodman, Ball was known for her love of music.

“I like to sing,” the centenarian said. “But I can’t sing anymore.”

Yet, Ball did raise her voice in song and spirit for 40 years at the First Baptist Church of Whitesboro, and there were several members of the church at her party that remembered the soaring clarity of her voice.

Pastor George Thompson sat next to Ball as she reminisced about her years singing in the church’s choir. He nodded and smiled.

“She had a wonderful voice,” he said. “She still likes to sing.”

Though born in the South, Ball moved to Whitesboro in 1924. She worked for 24 years as a nurses’ aide at Burdette Tomlin Hospital, retiring in 1974. She has been a member of the First Baptist Church in Whitesboro since 1947.

Ball moved into the center in 2005, where staff say she still enjoys musical events, religious programs, coffee hour, and trivia games.

Committeeman Dan Lockwood visited Ball on her birthday and presented her with a township certificate of honor.

“As an elected official there are many difficult times and plenty of criticism,” Lockwood said. “But honoring the long life of Florine Ball and her great contribution to the world makes those times worthwhile.”

Committeeman Dan Lockwood presents Florine Ball with a township certificate of honor on her birthday. Committeeman Dan Lockwood presents Florine Ball with a township certificate of honor on her birthday. Florine Ball’s church family celebrates her birthday with her at the Courthouse Convalescent Center. Shown are Rev. Meredith Campbell, Rev. James Hatch, Deacon Marvin Moye, Mary Hubbard, Blanch Anderson, Pastor George Thompson and “Mom” Ball. Florine Ball’s church family celebrates her birthday with her at the Courthouse Convalescent Center. Shown are Rev. Meredith Campbell, Rev. James Hatch, Deacon Marvin Moye, Mary Hubbard, Blanch Anderson, Pastor George Thompson and “Mom” Ball.


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