A large group gathered at a joyful celebration with Mildred Layfield for her 111 birthday on Friday at Porterville Convalescent Home.

Five generations of family continually surrounded the super centenarian during the evening, with little children and babies held by their mothers, some of who are great-granddaughters of Layfield.

Long time family friends Cameron Hamilton and his wife, Christine, were at the party, as were dear friends Shirley Gemmels and her son, Jerry. 

Deborah Acterberg, who has known Layfield for years, said, “Mildred is such a dear friend and we think alike.”


After trying to get everyone’s attention before dinner, granddaughter Kristeena Lindley said to the crowd, “We want to thank everyone for coming to grandma’s birthday. It’s not every day that someone turns 111.”

Shirley sat and sang with Mildred, much to Kristeena’s delight. “She said, ‘Every time I hear my grandma sing, I cry” a sentiment felt by many.

Sylvia Harral and her friend Norma, of “Crack-O’Dawn Dancers” came to wish Mildred a happy birthday, and Sylvia, asked Mildred how it felt to be 111. Mildred said, “I’m going to stay young.”

The family had ordered a whole dinner and a birthday cake for the large party. Everyone had a wonderful time sharing memories together with Mildred for her special day.

A small cake with candles marking 111, was presented to Mildred, and with a smile, she blew out her candles with no problem, with everyone singing happy birthday ‘Dear Grandma’ or ‘Dear Mildred’ ringing out.


Porterville Convalescent administrators helped host the celebration, and were happy and proud to meet everyone and helped serve the catered buffet style dinner and served the cake. They all love Mildred.

Patti and Ron McAllister were happy to celebrate with Mildred and her family, and Patti said, “My mother is in the room next to Mildred, so I get to see her every day when I come to visit. My husband Ron, was best man at Mildred’s daughter, Sherry and Richard Wood’s wedding.”

Christine Hamilton spoke about Mildred and said, “Her quality of life is so well kept. She knows exactly what’s going on, and she’s so social.” 

Mildred’s daughter Sharron Harrington was also enjoying the party, with her husband Scott, while their daughters Kristeena and Sherry helped organize the celebration.

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