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By Mike Hazlip—
Citrus Heights resident Dorothy Webber celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday surrounded by a few close friends and family.
Webber told The Sentinel in a phone call Saturday she’s had a good life, and is grateful for the opportunities to travel as an Air Force wife. She said her husband, Ron Webber, was a colonel and flew transport aircraft.
The couple met at an officer’s club event in Austin, Texas, and later married in 1945. Her husband retired after 30 years in the Air Force, she said, and passed away in 1984. The couple had two sons, Don, now 69, and Bob, now 73.
The family has lived in Japan, Turkey, Germany, and a number of locations in the U.S., including Washington D.C. Eventually the family settled in the Sacramento area in a home near American River College in 1970. Webber said she has spent the last 30 years in Citrus Heights. After her husband’s retirement, Webber said they continued to travel the world together.
Her son, Don, organized Saturday’s party to celebrate the milestone birthday. In an email he described his mother as a great mom who also volunteered for Christmas Promise, a charity organization to help underprivileged children that she co-managed for three decades. He said his mother also used her artistic talent to make quilts for newborns that were donated through the organization.
Wanting to protect his mother from exposure to COVID-19 as much as possible, Don Webber used his network as a real estate agent to invite colleagues and clients to send birthday cards in lieu of a party.
Only about seven close friends and family gathered for the event, according to Don Webber. His brother, Bob, now lives across the country and was not able to join the family.
Dorothy Webber described the event as: “nice, beautiful weather, good food, and good conversation.”
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Don Webber told The Sentinel in a phone call Saturday that his email went out two weeks ago to about 1,400 people between his personal network, and other 21st Century agency contacts. The response was more than he expected.
“My first goal when I first got the idea was, oh, a couple dozen more cards would make her happy — and we got 25 cards so quick,” he said.
Within days, the total exceeded 50 cards, and Webber realized they were on track to receive 100 cards by her birthday.
“In yesterday’s mail, we totaled now 116 cards,” he said, noting the cards were put up on a wall at his mother’s care facility in Citrus Heights.
“She’s just been a good mother,” Don Webber said. “She’s been a stay-at-home mother all my life. (She) let us be kids — that was back in the days when we’d leave the house after breakfast and they’d say, ‘be back before dark.’ And we’d play all day in the neighborhood come back for lunch and dinner.”
Webber described his mother as an artist, and said her creativity is something that he has taken after, saying he’s been an artist all his life.
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When asked the reason for her longevity, Dorothy said it runs in the family: noting her mother and grandmother both lived to 95.
“Really I don’t do anything special,” she said. “I don’t exercise and such. Just good genes I guess.”
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