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Flowery Branch woman celebrates 100th birthday

Kate Bagby called 'one amazing lady'

POSTED: March 21, 2011 12:41 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/

Kate Bagby, right, is greeted by friends Sue Goforth, left, and Cheri Broeker Sunday afternoon at First Baptist Church in Flowery Branch during Bagby's 100th birthday party. Bagby is Flowery Branch's oldest resident.

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Flowery Branch resident Kate Bagby said her secret to living to be a century old is likely hard work.

“My father was a farmer and we were too,” said Bagby, who celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family Sunday at First Baptist Church in Flowery Branch.

The former poultry business owner admitted she was surprised by the milestone.

“I had no idea I’d live this long, but it’s great,” she said.

Bagby was born in Flowery Branch and raised on a farm where Aqualand Marina Pavilion now sits.

She grew up in a time when cars were rare and televisions were nonexistent. She said she and her 11 siblings would help with the family farm.

“I remember we would go by wagon with a load of watermelons to sell in Gainesville,” Bagby said.

Bagby was also among the small few to graduate from Flowery Branch High School twice.

At the time, the high school only went to the 10th grade, which she graduated from in 1927. The following year, the 11th grade level was added, and Bagby graduated again.

In the 1930s, she met and married her husband, Egbert, who died in 1981.

The couple purchased her parent’s property and later sold the land to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of Lake Lanier.

The couple bought their next home on McEver Road, where Bagby has lived since 1954.

“They built the house out of timber they sawed off on the property,” said Richard Hanes, a family friend.

The couple also launched a poultry business, which they operated for 40 years until retirement.

But retiring didn’t slow Bagby down, said her family.

“She’s lived a very active life,” said Carl Radford, her son-in-law. “She still trims her own grass each year and gardens.”

Bagby lives by herself, and four of her six children own property nearby.

“She has been a great example,” said her daughter Mary Bradford. “She always told us our actions denoted what kind of person we were.”

More than 200 family members, friends and members of the Flowery Branch Homemakers’ Club, which Bagby originally helped organize, attended her birthday party and luncheon.

Her family said they were excited to celebrate her longevity and the mark she’s had on their lives.

“She’s an inspiration to all of us; she works in her garden, cuts her own grass and takes care of her family,” her daughter-in-law Marcia Bagby said. “She is one amazing lady.”



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