On March 25, 2020, Lynchburg Nursing Center in Lynchburg, Tennessee, celebrated the 100th birthday of beloved resident Roxie Wood!
Although a group party wasn’t possible with the social distancing requirements, that didn’t stop the spirit of celebration. Associates showered Roxie with pink balloons, a tiara and a sash, as well as with all the well wishes they could.
Roxie was born in 1920, in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina (affectionately known as Mt. Pilot on “The Andy Griffith Show”). She was one of nine children.
When Roxie was 13 years old, the school bus she was riding in ran off the road and down the side of a hill, turning over in a creek. All of the children were hurt. The area had no paved roads, and the local men had to use horse and mule teams for the rescue. The first person on the scene was one of her older brothers. Roxie insisted that he help everyone else before he took her out of the wreckage. There was no area hospital, and the children were taken to two separate hospitals, both of which were over 25 miles away. Once at the hospital, it was discovered that Roxie’s pelvis was broken, and she had to wear a body cast for almost a year. In spite of that setback, she still graduated high school as class valedictorian.
Roxie went on to marry William Howard Wood, who served in World War II. Their wedding took place in a church parsonage, and they stayed overnight in a rooming house in which everyone on the floor shared the bathroom. Their wedding supper was pimento cheese sandwiches.
The couple had two sons.
Roxie was a seamstress for Hanes. She learned her skills as a little girl, sewing on a pedal-driven Singer sewing machine. She had a talent for making things and made evening dresses and costumes for various people while her boys were growing up. She could look at a person, look at the pattern and then make a garment for them that would fit perfectly, without measurements!
A woman of faith, Roxie attributes her longevity to her faith in the Lord and her belief in His word. She also never drank alcohol or smoked, and she ate very little meat.
Today, Roxie’s family has grown to include three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
“I really don’t feel much different except I can’t walk like I used to,” said Roxie. “I do feel 100 years old is a big accomplishment!”