Reflections over a century: Crestview woman celebrates 100th birthday

Published: Monday, January 7, 2013 at 05:42 PM.

After settling in Crestview and joining the Presbyterian Church in 1963, she helped start the Crestview Garden Club, the city’s now-defunct Music Club, was an early member of the Women’s Club, and was a founder of one of her church’s service circles.

Bertha Mae worked as a dental assistant after moving to Crestview, and was also a teacher at Bob Sikes Elementary School when it was still a wooden schoolhouse. In addition, she taught a millinery course at Okaloosa-Walton Community College, present-day Northwest Florida State College.

Today, she lives with Charles Jr. and Madelyn, her daughter-in-law, in the home he designed and built in the Garden City community north of Crestview. Bertha Mae’s seven great-grandchildren live nearby.

“My granddaughters love to have tea parties and put on Grandmother’s hats,” Madelyn Corkins said.

Madelyn said she always enjoys Bertha Mae’s stories.

“‘Some of my stories are true, and some I’ve made up, but they’re all very interesting,’” Madelyn said her mother-in-law once told her.

“She had very strong opinions about some of the presidents, not because of their politics, but because of the way they treated their wives,” Madelyn said. “She’s always been a fighter if she believed in a cause. She would come well armed. She had her facts in a row to back her up. She is gifted in so many ways.”

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