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Six Generations Gather In Bloomfield For A 106th Birthday

By SHAWN R. BEALS | Courant Staff Writer

July 27, 2008

BLOOMFIELD - Six generations of a local family gathered Saturday to celebrate a rare occasion a 106th birthday.

Jennie Brown is turning 106 this week. She moved into Wintonbury Care Center, where the party was held, at 95 when she gave up living independently "to go live with people her own age," her granddaughter, Priscilla Poole Rawles, said.

Brown moved to Hartford from Georgia when she was in her 20s, and worked as a nurse, a housekeeper and in the area's tobacco fields. She was one of nine children and had two children of her own.

Not only did the family celebrate Brown's birthday, but also it celebrated the birthday of her daughter, Rosalind Poole, who turned 86 last week.

"People think an awful lot of her; she's well loved," Poole said of her mother.

Brown and Poole each received a citation from the state for their birthdays, and Brown also got a glass award from her church, Hopewell Baptist Church in Hartford, where she has been an active member for more than 80 years.

"Church was her life, basically," said Rawles. "She's been a big inspiration for our family, all six generations."

If you asked her what her secret is to living so long, she'd say "the good Lord, and faith," Rawles said.

Surrounded by more than 30 family members, Brown posed for dozens of photos and got even more hugs and kisses before having her lunch and cake.

Family members spending time with her Saturday recalled her faith in God, her devotion to her family and her love of deep-sea fishing.

"She was a very dedicated grandmother," said Ron Poole, her grandson.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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