Mayfield resident celebrates centennial anniversary |  News

Mayfield resident celebrates centennial anniversary | News

MAYFIELD, Ky. — On June 29, 1924, Mayfield resident Wanda Burgess was born in Graves County. A century later this Saturday, she will celebrate her 100th birthday.

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Wanda Burgess in 2023.

To commemorate the occasion, the city of Mayfield will present Burgess with a key to the city and a Kentucky colonel, considered the highest honor for Kentucky residents, at her birthday party Saturday at the Bungalows assisted living facility.

Although he lived through several historical events, Burgess said he lived a “quiet” life. After graduating from school, Burgess contributed to the World War II effort by loading bullet shells at the Viola War Plant.

“As soon as the war ended that day, they closed the factory and sent us home,” Burgess said.

But part of Burgess’s home was still overseas. During the war, Burgess anticipated the return of her fiancé, Joseph Bodine Burgess, from Europe, where he had served in the US Army in the field artillery. She waited 32 months, and the two finally married in 1946.

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Wanda Burgess and her husband Bodine Burgess in 1965.

Burgess worked briefly at the Merit Clothing Company after the war. Wanda and Bodine established their roots in Mayfield and opened and operated Burgess Brothers IGA, a grocery store they owned with Bodine’s brother Gene Burgess on West Broadway for decades.

“It’s a good place to live,” Burgess said, reflecting on Mayfield as a home and community.

Burgess also explained that her religious faith is a key part of her life. She has been a member of the Dublin Baptist Church since the age of 16 when she was baptized.

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Wanda Burgess and her husband Bodine Burgess on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1996.

In October 2013, Bodine died. Burgess described him as a “good Christian husband” with whom she was “thankful” to have shared a life of more than 60 years. Her “companion” is now a black cat named Shadow, rekindling what Burgess considered a lifelong love of felines.

Burgess’ next of kin include her niece Jeanna Davidson of the Memphis area and David Burgess of Lexington. She said she has no advice for future generations other than to build on the knowledge they already have.

“They know what they need to know,” Burgess said.

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Wanda Burgess and one of her caregivers, Ann Moloski, on June 27, 2024, in her room at the Bungalows assisted living facility in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Burgess currently lives at the Bungalows in Mayfield, where he occasionally plays bingo, attends devotionals and awaits his centenary birthday.

“I’m still here. I’m thankful that God let me live this long,” Burgess said.