Elizabethton comes together to celebrate local veteran’s 100th birthday

A few days before her actual birthday, Florence “Helen” Shoopman Fetzer celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, December 30, at the Sycamore Springs Assisted Living Center. Hundreds of well-wishers joined her for the celebration, filling the narrow hallways of the assisted living center and filling the building with celebratory noises and shouts.

Fetzer served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during WWII and was involved in the women’s suffrage movement.

Several government officials either attended the celebration in person or sent letters congratulating her on her achievements.

Carter County Mayor Russell Barnett called Fetzer a pioneer and a trailblazer.

“She got to do what no other woman had ever done before as a WAC in 1943,” Barnett said in is proclamation.

After serving until 1945, Fetzer went back to get her education, earning a teaching certificate from Carson-Newman College, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching at the University of Tennessee, and then she earned her Master’s in education from East Tennessee State College in 1953.

Her family members said Fetzer still has the copy of her poll tax she paid before women were legally allowed to vote in the U.S.

“I am so glad to see every one of you here,” Fetzer said. “It is hard to believe this many people showed up on such a pretty day outside.”

State Representative Phil Roe sent a letter of congratulations on her achievements, as well.

“The commitment to your community as an educator for 34 years could not be more appreciated,” Roe said in his letter. “As a veteran myself, I want to also thank you for your service as a member of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.”

Fetzer said she knew many people would be asking her what she attributed her longevity to, but, with a smile on her face, she said she did not really know the answer to that question.

“I did not want to be an old woman,” she said. “I never said I wanted to be 100.”

She said she did not regret her long life, however, saying she met some great people during her life.

“I saw FDR a few times,” she said. “I saw Eisenhower before he was president.”

Church News

Church Briefs

Local news

Spring choral concert scheduled Sunday at EHS Gymnasium

Church News

Benefit lunch for Wayne Singleton scheduled Sunday at Blue Springs

Local news

TN poised to expand access to opioid treatment at community health centers

Local news

Strawberry season is here in Tennessee

Local news

Local animal lover donates $10,000 to Elizabethton Spay & Neuter Clinic

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested on child abuse and neglect charges

Church News

Why is God full of truthfulness?

Local news

Dance, dine, and discover at ETSU’s Corazón Latino Festival

Local news

County students see dramatic portrayal of prom night fatalities

Local news

Scioto Rifle Range closed for repairs

Local news

Ditch the coat, ETSU predicts warmer-than-normal spring

Local news

Tennessee’s working families are paying more than their fair share of taxes

Local news

Tennessee tax revenue exceed budgeted estimates

Local news

ETSU hosting Drug Take Back event April 18

Local news

Stolen vehicle report leads to attempted river escape

Local news

Local elementary school rolls out the ‘Red Carpet’ for their students

Local news

Elizabethton Police seek help identifying porch theft suspect

Local news

ETSU announces STEM and environmental health programs for high school students

Local news

A Lived Lived: Johnny McGee was just an ordinary man, but special to a lot of people

Local news

Crossroads Craftworks celebrates ribbon-cutting

Local news

First Baptist Elizabethton to host free food bag distribution

Local news

ETSU to honor Dr. Chris Dula at Dula Day

Local news

First Fridays bring Downtown Elizabethton alive this summer