Setting a personal milestone and reaching the century mark, Velma M. Holmes will celebrate her 100th birthday with family and friends on Sept. 25 at Sycamore Manor, 1445 Sycamore Road, Montoursville.
The open house, which will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m., was planned by Velma's family and friends.
Several family members are making their way from Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama and Alaska and traveling to Williamsport in order to celebrate the special occasion.
Born on Sept. 22, 1910, Holmes grew up in the Grey's Run area, but moved to Ralston in the third grade. She was raised by her grandparents Luther and Mertie Newman and had eight brothers and sisters.
In 1929, she married James Lester Holmes, with whom she shared more than 49 years together. They had three sons, Jim, John and Gene Holmes and two daughters, June Catherman and Edith Eichenlaub.
Living a full and rewarding life, Holmes' dedication to her family has left a lasting legacy.
In addition to her children, she has 18 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and 27 great-great-grandchildren.
Granddaughter Karen Lynch, of Williamsport, said she remembers when she was a young girl her grandmother making all of the grandchildren homemade raspberry milkshakes. According to Lynch, it was one of her grandmother's favorite things to do.
"They were delicious," she said. "And, she would serve them in metal tumblers that kept them nice and cold."
Another fond memory for Lynch and many other family members is ice skating uder the bridge near their grandmother's home.
"It was a lot of fun," she said. "Those memories will stay with me forever."
According to Holmes, she has seen a lot in her years and has experienced many things. She jokingly likes to say, "don't ask me what I've done, ask me what I haven't done."
Holmes also is a survivor of the deadly influenza pandemic of 1918, in which 50 to 100 million people died worldwide.
Unfortunately, she lost two uncles after they contracted the disease while threshing corn in the fields.
"It was a terrible time," she said. "I didn't think I would make it, but I pulled through."
In addition to being a homemaker and taking care of her children her entire life, Holmes co-owned and operated Holmes General Store in Allenwood, along with her husband.
According to family, the store sold a variety of merchandise including clothing, food and Coca-Cola.
Holmes is very involved in her church and a proud member of First Baptist Church of Elimsport.
She said the key to her longevity is having trust in the Lord and taking it as it comes - one day at a time.
Holmes, who has been a resident at Sycamore Manor for more than two years, said so far the experience has been enjoyable.
"The people have been real good," she said. "They're very friendly and kind."
Although no definitive plans have been made yet, family and friends are excited to celebrate Holmes' 101st birthday next year.
"She's an amazing woman, who is full of life," Lynch said. "We are honored to be able to celebrate such a special day with such a special person that means so much to so many people."