AMORY – A pair of neighboring churches recently hosted simultaneous receptions for a couple of ladies who celebrated their 100th birthdays. Margaret Billeter and Jessie Lee were both celebrated for reaching the milestone birthday.

Lee gathered with her children and church family at Meadowood Baptist Church to celebrate her 100th birthday, as First Assembly of God hosted a reception for Billeter and her family and friends.

Billeter was born in Newton, Kansas but never knew her biological parents. Her daughter, Pat Jenkins, said her mother was adopted as a newborn but then taken from the home by the state after a short while because the adopting parents were considered too old.

She lived much of her first 18 years as a resident of the Methodist Children’s Home in Kansas. She was adopted out for a couple of years during that time but returned to the orphanage.

When Billeter graduated from high school and aged out of the children’s home, she was established in an apartment as she worked various jobs. By the time she married and was raising a family, her son, Ed, developed severe asthma problems. The family relocated to Tuscon where he could get the medical treatment he needed.

Billeter came to Monroe County to live with Jenkins in 1986 and has remained an active member of First Assembly of God ever since. She loves word puzzles to keep her mind sharp and entrusts her soul to God for the eternity that will follow her remarkable tenure on this earth.

“If you live and do what God wants you to do, He takes care of you,” she said.

Jenkins characterizes her mother as a good Christian woman who loves God and is a prayer warrior for everybody.

Lee’s life has been centered around the church. She attends Trace Road Baptist Church when she can. She is a resident of River Place Nursing Center.

“I was raised right and taught right. Even though I can’t see to read my Bible anymore, I still know it because I hid it in my heart,” she said.

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