At a time when gas cost four cents per gallon and the average cost of a new car was $360, local resident Maxine Dickey Anvik made her entry into the world. Born October 29, 1917, Mrs. Maxine celebrates her 100th birthday this year.
And when one turns 100, the celebrations should be spectacular, for sure. The Daring Dames of Statesboro Chapter of the Red Hat Society hosted one of Mrs. Maxine’s celebratory events at the home of Red Hat member Fran Wade.
Surrounded by a sea of red and purple, the leader of the women’s social group, Shirley Newan, Queen Mother, said, “We’re older ladies with little girls inside playing dress-up.”
She also said the major purpose of their monthly meetings is to “meet, eat, and great.” Celebrating birthdays at the event is common, but celebrating a three-digit birthday is rare.
Mrs. Maxine was born in Fairview, Montana and moved to Statesboro in 2004 with her husband, Art, to be closer to her daughter, Statesboro resident Nelda Bishop, also a member of the Red Hat Society. Mrs. Maxine’s other children live in Washington, Arizona and Montana. Art and Maxine celebrated 70 years of marriage before he passed away at the age of 98-and-a-half-years-old.
The centenarian remembers walking to a one-room schoolhouse as a young girl.
“My sister and I disappeared over a hill in the morning and our mother didn’t see us again until four in the afternoon,” she recalls. “I walked to school clear through high school, and then walked to the commercial college I went to.”
Though her memories are fresh and vivid, even from that long ago, Maxine said she is blessed with much of her information because she kept a diary all of her life. She just had no idea she’d eventually have almost 100 years of journals.
The Statesboro Herald last caught up with Anvik in April when she spoke at a Friends of the Library meeting, sharing memories and life experiences and her then-recently published book, “Ramblings from My Century of Progress,” penned by her daughter, Nelda Bishop, from Anvik’s own words and writings.
She spoke of the Great Depression, visiting the Chicago World’s Fair at 16, the time when severe dust storms dubbed the ‘Dirty Thirties ‘ destroyed farmers’ livelihoods and working on beet farms.
In fact, she said that night that “hard work” had attributed to her longevity and beet-farm work was the hardest work she’d ever done.
Anvik’s festivities are continuing with family celebrations and a birthday party reception, hosted by her daughter, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, on the corner of Fair Road and the by-pass, on Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. Friends and relatives are invited to celebrate 100 years of life with Mrs. Maxine Anvik.