TOP PHOTO: Anna Smith was surrounded by family and friends for her 100th birthday celebration.
Miss Anna Smith, the "Queen of Bear Wallow" in Caryville turned 100 on Saturday.
By: Charlotte Underwood
BEAR WALLOW, TN (WLAF) - Anna Smith, "the Queen of Bear Wallow" in Caryville turned 100 years old on Saturday. A birthday celebration was held at Bear Wallow Church on Sunday after church services were over. Anna was surrounded by her family and friends, grandchildren and great grandchildren for the centennial celebration. When asked how it felt to be 100 years old, she said it felt "just fine" and that she didn't really feel any different.
Miss Anna is from Bear Wallow and has spent most of her life in the area. She got her nickname, the Queen of Bear Wallow from Jehu Parks who was the pastor of Bear Wallow Church years ago. According to his wife JoAnn Parks, one of Anna's dear friends, her husband was the one who began the nickname and it stuck and everybody started calling her the Queen of Bear Wallow. Anna was in the area when the church began and even served as its janitor, taking "good care of the church," according to Parks. "She's just a wonderful woman who has always taken care of everybody around here, but she can be a monkey too," Parks said, adding that "Miss Anna" had been there when she was born. The 81-year-old Parks said Anna had always called her "her baby." "She knows about everybody in Caryville and everybody knows her," Parks said.
Bear Wallow pastor Jerry Foust holds up the cake for "Miss Anna" on Sunday for her birthday party. Anna, known as the Queen of Bear Wallow, turned 100 on Saturday.
Anna's daughter Carol Smith takes care of her and said she had always been a good mother."She's doing great for her age. She doesn't have to take any medication and she still gets around good. She gets lots of visits from family and friends and we think that's what has kept her going strong all these years," daughter Carol Smith said.
Miss Anna still "takes care of the church" according to present day pastor Jerry Foust, who said he has known her for around 30 years, 15 of which he has been the pastor at the church. "She's always been there for the church. Miss Anna is just the best woman you will ever meet. She's never met a stranger and is kind to everyone. She's helped a lot of people in our community and you'll never hear anybody say anything bad about her," Foust said.
Happy birthday " Miss Anna, the Queen of Bear Wallow," from all of us here at WLAF. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED - 01/27/2020-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF'S CHARLOTTE UNDERWOOD)
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