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Steed celebrates 100 years

On Friday, Betty Jo Steed will celebrate her 100th birthday with friends and family. However, the LaGrange resident said that she does not feel her age and enjoys staying busy.

“It’s a fun celebration, but I don’t realize I’m 100 though,” Steed said.

A lot about the world has changed since the Great Depression years when Steed grew up, and she said that the biggest changes she’s seen in her lifetime are the use of technology and computers. On Wednesday, she could be found deep in conversation with friends at Poplar Creek.

“I’m interested in things, and sometimes I’m a little bit nosey,” said Steed, who also said that she enjoys keeping up with current events. 

According to Sneed, some things that are now considered normal parts of life — like television and eating at restaurants regularly — would have been surprising to her as a young girl.

“Going out to eat was a novelty,” Steed said. “Your mama stayed at home. She didn’t work. After I got grown, [my mom] worked. She worked in the home, kept borders and things like that.”

Sneed said that she has lived in Valdosta, Cordele, Americus, Savannah and Atlanta, partially due to her father’s work.

“During the Depression, you went where there was work,” Steed said. “It was hard to make a living, and you pinched your pennies. It was bad for some people, but it wasn’t for us.”

Sneed graduated from high school at Russell High School in East Point and later worked at First National Bank in Atlanta.

“When they had the ‘Gone with the Wind’ premier there [in Atlanta], they had a parade, and Clark Gable [was in it],” Steed said. “… I was working at the bank, and we were all hanging out the windows looking down. As he rode by, he looked up right at us and waved at us. So, that was a big thing.”

She married Robert Louis Steed, and they had three children. The couple moved to Troup County around 1974 in order to be close to family.

“They were in Atlanta, and I married and moved down here,” said Jane Rogers, Steed’s daughter. “They bought a farm from my husband’s family, and they moved an old house there. It was the old Hall home place… and restored it there.”

Sneed said she enjoyed the experience of living out in the country.

“I lived out in the country after my husband retired and enjoyed living out in the country,” Steed said. 

One of Steed’s birthday celebrations will be at that home, which is now part of Three Oaks Farm, a wedding venue near Rosemont Elementary School.  There will also be a celebration at Poplar Creek.

“She’ll have another [party] Sunday for out of town friends and family, but our church had a party for her last week,” Rogers said. 

“So, she has been a party girl lately.”

After 100 years, Steed’s advice to the next generation was simple.

“Don’t be money crazy, there is more to life than just making money,” Steed said. “Love everybody.”

Sneed has three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 

She attends Rosemont Baptist Church and is a member of the Pine Needle Garden Club. She said she enjoys playing Bingo, flower gardening and participating in activities at Poplar Creek.