The Transylvania Times -

Family Celebrates The 100th Birthday Of Mildred Tawney


July 31, 2017

Derek McKissock

Among those who celebrated the 100th birthday of Mildred Tawney were (left to right) her son Ted; Michael Cohen and her great-grandson, Emmett Cohen; Michael Tawney; Tavia Cohen; sons Tom and Terry; Laura Tawney and granddaughter Alexandra Tawney.

Ellen Mildred Tawney was born on July 30, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1917, America entered World War I, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded and women were still three years away from receiving the right to vote.

Last Saturday, the family and friends of Tawney, whose maiden name was Towle, celebrated her 100th birthday a day early at The Oaks, an assisted-living center in Brevard.

During her long life, the then Towle trained and became a registered nurse in 1937. She later married Harrison Tawney, who served in the Merchant Marines during World War II, in February of 1942.

The couple had identical twins, Terry and Tom, who were born on May 23, 1946.

Terry now lives in California, while Tom lives in Illinois. Both were at The Oaks Saturday celebrating their mother's birthday.

A third son, Ted, was born May 10, 1952.

The couple left Ohio in 1952 and moved to southern Maryland. In 1957, they moved to Fairfax County, Va., before coming to Brevard in 1964.

Harrison took a job at Brevard College, where he taught psychology for many years. He died in 1992.

Tawney, who was best known by her middle name, Mildred, mostly took care of her children and, especially, Ted, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.

"She was a devoted mother," said Tom.

As well as three sons, Tawney has six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren

She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is a long-time member of Christ Covenant Church on the Rosman Highway.

Tom said she's always had a "strong religious faith" and is well versed in the Bible.

Courtesy Photo

Mildred Tawney in 1955

Along the way, she also received an associate's degree in general studies at Brevard College during the early 1970s.

She lived with Ted in their family home in Brevard until 2014, when her declining health forced her to be moved into The Oaks.

"She really appreciated the warm spirit of the people and their supportive generosity for each other, including our family. And that's a fact," Tom said of his mother's feelings about Brevard and Transylvania County. "It's what made the community special for mother and the family."


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