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City native celebrates birthday with family, friends

City native celebrates birthday with family, friends in new decade

Celebrating resident Jeanne Shuman’s 100th birthday, family and friends of the Presbyterian Home in Williamsport honored Jeanne for this milestone on Jan. 5.

Born on Jan. 1, 1920, in Washingtonville, Pa., to the late Ralph and Sue Sidel, Jeanne is the middle child of seven children with three older sisters and three younger brothers. Jeanne is the last surviving sibling. The Sidel family moved to Williamsport in the mid-twenties and Jeanne’s father, Ralph, worked for the railroad and later with the Lycoming Hotel.

After graduating from Williamsport Area High School in 1938, Jeanne worked in downtown Williamsport at the five and dime, as well as upscale women’s clothing stores like Worth’s and Lynn Hayes.

She married the late Charles R. Shuman on July 21, 1957, who passed away in 2003. Charles was a Marine and served in World War II. He worked for the railroad and retired from GTE Sylvania in Montoursville. The couple celebrated 45 years of marriage together.

Jeanne and Charles Shuman are the parents of Mark, of Williamsport, who was born in June 1961. After Mark was born, Jeanne became a stay-at-home mother until he entered high school after which she re-entered the workforce and was employed at Jones Specialty Shop until the business closed. While at Jones Specialty Shop, Jeanne coordinated fashion shows held at the Williamsport Country Club and the Elks Club.

Reminiscing on the memories growing up with his mother, Mark recalls how Jeanne helped everyone in the neighborhood.

“She was a blessing to so many people, so kind to everyone. She was popular and sought after because everyone knew that if they reached out to her, she would help them. My mother has always been active and has a big, kind, loving heart,” Mark said.

Jeanne was a member of the first Presbyterian Church for 91 years where she helped with sewing, church functions and the spring luncheon.

For 13 years Jeanne organized bus trips and was in charge of entertainment at the Williamsport Home Apartments where she lived.

Jeanne has been living at the Presbyterian Home since 2016 and is active in Community Life programs and enjoys crafts, bingo and musical entertainment. She also has participated in the Little League Grand Slam parade riding on the Presbyterian Home’s float.

When asked how one gets to be 100 years old, Jeanne replied saying that “It’s work.” “But I feel good,” she said.

“Mother has been a great joy. She (is) compassionate, loving and helpful to everyone or anyone. Truly one of God’s angels on Earth,” Mark said.

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