Celebrating 99 Years At A Distance

Alice Louise Norris Ivey looks from the front lobby window at Harnett Woods Nursing Center as her family members parade by to wish her a happy 99th birthday. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders, the family was unable to have a traditional celebration and had to celebrate from afar.

A 99th birthday is something that can’t go unnoticed, even during this time of COVID-19 and stay-at-home and social distancing orders.

On Tuesday, April 14, Alice Louise Norris Ivey turned 99. Her family honored the occasion by decorating their cars with balloons and signs, and parading in front of Harnett Woods Nursing Center on Lucas Road in Dunn where Ivey is a resident.

The honoree sat at the front lobby window looking out, waving as her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren drove by.

A line of cars carrying children, grandchildren, great-grandchilden and great-great-grandchildren pass by the front lobby window at Harnett Woods Nursing Center. The occupants of the vehicles were there to wish Alice Louise Ivey a happy 99th birthday.

Leading the parade of about 20 cars was great-grandson Nolan Byrd in a white Jeep blaring the song “Happy Birthday To You.”

Her family stopped in front of the window where Ivey was seated to wave, many shouting out “Happy birthday, Granny! We love you!”

On April 14, 1921, Alice Louise was born at home in Johnston County to Leander and Sarah Norris. An older woman in the neighborhood assisted with her delivery.

John Sawyer and Mady Ruth Tyndall wish their great-grandmother, Alice Louise Ivey, a happy birthday from the sunroof of the SUV driven by their mother, Melissa Tyndall. Melissa Tyndall shares the same birth date as her grandmother.

Alice Louise is the last living child of five children. She had three sisters, Maude, Merle Pearl and Gertrude, and a brother, Walter “Buddy” Norris.

“Granny has lots of stories about picking cotton days with her siblings as a young child,” said her granddaughter, Liz Herring. “She’s quick to point out that’s the only time she ever wore a pair of ‘dungarees.’ She explains, ‘Goody, girls look better in dresses and boys wear britches, but when we picked cotton we would wear a pair of daddy’s britches and use a rope to tie them up.’”

Alice Louise Ivey is the mother of six children — two boys and four girls. She has 17 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

-Dunn Daily Record