Saturday, July 12, 2014

A century of life

June 18. 2013 3:56PM

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Clarks Summit resident Nan Beynon celebrated her 100th birthday June 19.  Beynon lives with her daughter, Barbara Smith.

She was born and raised in Ystradgynlais, Wales, the sister city of Clarks Summit.

“It’s a beautiful country,” she said of her homeland. “It’s where I grew up and got my education.

Smith recently held a Welsh- themed birthday party for her mom.

“We had red, green, and white balloons in honor of her Welsh heritage,” she said. “It was interesting.”

Beynon isn’t quite sure about the reasons for her longevity.

“I have no idea,” she said with a laugh.

Beynon moved to the United States in 1929 and lived briefly in Scranton and Chinchilla before settling in Clarks Summit.

“I think this area is a lot like Wales,” she said. “That’s why people came here and stayed here. It was familiar to them.”

She has two sons, Garfield Beynon Jr., who lives in Scranton, and Richard, who lives in Factoryville.

She has seven grandchildren: Megan, Robin, Gary, Rich, Bridget, Ward, Jennifer.

She also has eight great- grandchildren: Hannah, Frank, Austin, Evan, Rebecca, Emily, Rachel, Eli.

About 80 people, including nieces and nephews from as far away as Texas and Florida, some of whom she hadn’t seen in 30 years, attended a birthday party at her home June 15 . Her brother, Mike, also made the trip from Spokane, Wash.

“It was wonderful,” she said.

Longtime friend Warren Watkins, Clarks Summit, first met Nan when he was dating her daughter in 1948.

“She was born and raised in Wales and I’m also Welsh, so we both have an interest in the heritage,” he said. “She has always carried it forward; it’s very important to her and it’s something we’ve always taked about.”

According to Watkins, Nan has had a determined attitude throughout her life.

“She’s a hardworking woman,” he said. “Anything that she started, she finished.”

Watkins added that even at 1oo, Nan’s mind is sharp.

“Up until just recently, she was playing Bridge every week,” he said.

She has a passion for the card game and has played for 50 years.

“I loved to play bridge,” she said. “First, there was eight of us. Then, there was four of us. I enjoyed their company. They are real good friends and we all like the same things.”


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