Sept. 10, 2015, was a special day in the life of Alice Proctor.
It was the day she officially became a centenarian and when three generations of family members joined her, along with fellow residents, friends and staff of St. Francisville Country Manor, to celebrate her 100th birthday.
Ms. Alice, as the staff at the residential facility affectionately call her, enjoyed her special day. She ate a plate of fried oysters — her favorite meal — had some punch and birthday cake, and opened presents, overwhelmed by all the attention.
“I don’t deserve all of this,” she said softly as her son, three granddaughters and six of her great-grandchildren doted over her.
Mayor Billy D’Aquilla issued a proclamation, declaring it Alice Jean Buie Proctor Day.
Proctor was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and had two children, Larry and Rebecca, after she moved to Wilmington, North Carolina.
Larry Buie remembers her as a loving wife and mother.
“We had a wonderful childhood because my mother and father instilled in us the meaning of love,” said Buie, a machinist at Anvil Attachments in Slaughter. “It was amazing how she took care of us and the amount of love she gave us.”
He said his mother was an excellent seamstress who made their clothes and was a great cook. She enjoyed gardening and growing flowers and worked as a part-time clerk at J.C. Penney. After her husband, Garland Buie, died, she married Grady Proctor, who also died.
She has been a resident of St. Francisville Country Manor since June. The staff said she is always cheerful and likes to visit with the other residents and especially enjoys coffee time. She likes to watch TV in the day room and loves listening to music.
“I like to visit with people the most,” Proctor said. “I like to be with people and visit and talk to people.”
She said there’s no real secret to longevity.
“Nothing other than having a good positive outlook on life and living a good life,” Proctor said with a smile. “And I love people, and I love my family.”