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Elizabeth – February Resident of the Month

Elizabeth Kelly

Just north of Knoxville, Tennessee is the small town of Mascot. This mill town was formed in the early 1900’s due to the discovery of a vein of zinc and limestone that ran through it. The American Zinc Company started soon after, and they subsequently created housing, a park, tennis courts, a drug store and a doctor’s office to serve the mill workers. It was in one of the company owned boarding houses that our resident of the month, Elizabeth, was raised. Her father worked with the American Zinc Company as a mill worker in the town of Mascot. Elizabeth and her three other siblings saw many interesting people pass through the boarding house when they were small. Elizabeth remembers that often even traveling baseball teams would stay in the house!

Back then, Elizabeth walked everywhere—to church, school, and the post office. She says that she was the “quiet one” in the family and started laughing when she talked about her sister, Imajean, who was definitely not quiet. It was Imajean that hosted many a Christmas gathering for the family. Elizabeth’s daughter, Patti, says that Elizabeth was an incredible cook, especially when it came to desserts. She would make her world-famous divinity from scratch. Elizabeth also has two sons, Bill and Jerry and four grandchildren

Elizabeth’s husband, Arnold, worked in construction and often traveled from town to town for work. One year, her husband was working in Arkansas, and she took her children on the train to join him. However, she left without securing a room ahead of time, so when they arrived, she had to figure out what to do. They went on a search and after viewing several places that were not too keen; the children started crying at the last one. Elizabeth says, “We stayed there as long as it took a tear to drop” and departed there quickly. She decided to take her children to the movies to cheer them up. Once there she luckily overheard two women talking in the bathroom about a room for rent which is where they ended up that night!

Elizabeth, age 99, has been at Woodland Ridge for over seven years. She has a great sense of humor. Elizabeth says that she loves words and brags that back in the day she used to “work crossword puzzles with a pen.” She also recounted a joke where someone is visiting a graveyard and makes a comment to the gravedigger about how hot it was that day. The gravedigger responds, “We haven’t had any complaints.” Elizabeth’s funny sayings often amuse the staff here at Woodland Ridge. We love that she is a part of our family which is why she is resident of the month!!!!