Pee Dee Gardens resident celebrates 100th birthday
Education and an unwavering work ethic have been the secret to a long and happy life for new centenarian Elizabeth Rogers Simonds.
A resident at Pee Dee Gardens, a DePaul Senior Living Community in Florence, Simonds was born on Jan. 9, 1920, in Timmonsville. She is the fourth child to Sam and Lucy Allen Rogers, a family of sharecroppers.
“Farming is alright if that’s what you want to do, but it is not what I’m going to do for the rest of my life,” Simonds said, reflecting on the mindset which led her off the farm and into the classroom.
She left the farm to seek employment in New York City about four years after graduating from high school. While working as a live-in domestic helper, one of her employers encouraged her to enroll in clerical night classes, which she says is one of the best decisions she ever made.
Over the years, Simonds worked clerical jobs in a doctor’s office, Datamation Services and lastly, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center located in the Bronx where she was recognized for her loyal and devoted services when she retired as a keypunch operator and coding clerk in 1981.
Simonds married her late husband, William “Bill” Simonds, in 1951. The two were active members of Epworth United Methodist Church until relocating to Florida and then back to Timmonsville in 2014 with her brother and sister who have since passed away.
A resident of Pee Dee Gardens since November 2017, Simonds enjoys reading medical articles and watching CNN.