Firefighters Surprise Woman to Help Celebrate Her 100th Birthday
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
If the flashing lights of a fire engine show up at your house, it can be a cause for huge concern. For Jeanette Carty, however, it was just the opposite.
The Norfolk Fire-Rescue department showed up at Carty’s house on June 22 to help celebrate her 100th birthday. The firefighters greeted Carty outside of her home with flowers to celebrate the big milestone.
“I was never more surprised in my life,” Carty shared with Today. “To see the firemen all lined up with their red shirts and black pants, oh my goodness it was amazing.”
“That’s the real big connection, just that family lineage that has served in this department,” Julian Williamson, Norfolk Battalion Chief, shared. “It’s that way with fire departments. Once you’re in and you serve, you’re part of a close-knit family.”
He continued, “That was the real special thing here — she’s 100 years old, which is amazing.”
Carty later celebrated with her family during a three-hour party.
“I was just overcome with appreciation,” Carty said. “It was so exciting.”
Carty’s late husband Joe was a member of the fire department from 1942 to 1972. The couple was married for 74 years when he died at the age of 94 in 2008. Carty shared that when her husband initially became a member of the fire department she was always worried.
“He had one occasion where a door he opened burst into flames, burned off his eyelashes and burned his hands bad enough to be bandaged, but that was the worst experience he had,” she shared. “I kind of got used to it.”
And Carty’s secret to her longevity?
“I’ve lived a pretty simple life,” she said.