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Hazel Longbrake to celebrate her 100th birthday

Hazel Frances Rushford Longbrake will celebrate her 100th birthday on June 16. (CONTRIBUTED)
Hazel Frances Rushford Longbrake will celebrate her 100th birthday on June 16. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – June 16 will be a special day at The Madison Village retirement and assisted- living campus.

On that date 100 years ago, Hazel Frances Rushford Longbrake was born. Her friends, family and staff at Madison Village will celebrate her 100th birthday on June 16.

Hazel moved into The Madison Village’s assisted-living area in March 2013. “She is in great health. She walks with a walker and attends our exercise program six days a week,” Madison Village administrator Jill Benefield said.

Hazel recently helped management and city officials at a groundbreaking for the facility’s new independent living building. “She participated in ‘digging up the dirt,'” Benefield said.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Hazel married Albert Longbrake in 1937 after he graduated from Indiana State Teachers College. During World War II, Albert served as a Navy lieutenant.

In Evansville, Hazel took a factory job for a government contract to build airplanes. She riveted airplane wings, fulfilling the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ image. After the war, she was a homemaker and Sunday School teacher for 25 years.

“She was always willing to care for her grandchildren when the need arose without hesitation,” Benefield said.

The Longbrakes bought a winter home in Florida and eventually moved to Madison. They were married 66 years.

Her daughter Jan lives in Madison and teaches at Bob Jones High School. Her son Albert lives in Eddysville, Ky. Hazel has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Hazel’s hobbies are bird watching and quilt making. When watching television, she likely has tuned in a Chicago Cubs or Atlanta Braves baseball game.

“Ms. Longbrake is always smiling, talking with other residents and has never met a stranger,” Benefield said.

What types of birthday gifts would Hazel like to receive on her birthday? “I have everything I could possibly need,” Hazel said.

At her birthday party, Hazel will enjoy 90 minutes of cake, ice cream, music, friends and family. “Lots of old photos and memorabilia will be on display,” Benefield said.

The Madison Village’s address is 6016 Wall Triana. For information, call 256-830-2400.

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