resident celebrates 112th year
By Michelle Payne
Published Nov. 23, 2005
Homan is joined by Mayor William Knoble at her 112th birthday
(Photo by Michelle Payne)
River resident Florence Homan has some bragging rights she shares
with no other person in the city or even Ohio. At 112 years old,
she is the oldest resident in the state.
Homan celebrated her birthday on Nov. 18 with a party at the Welsh
Home, 22199 Center Ridge Rd., where she lives.
dozen residents joined in the celebration which was led by Mayor
William Knoble and the Welsh Home staff. Knoble presented Homan
with a flower arrangement and a proclamation from the city wishing
her a happy birthday. According to Knoble there are hundreds of
residents in their 90's living in the city, but Homan's longevity
is unmatched by any other resident.
"She is the oldest person in Rocky River and she is older than the
city itself by two years," Knoble said. "We're very happy to have
her in Rocky River."
Homan celebrated by sharing a cake with her party guests and received
cards and gifts from several other residents and staff, including
her young neighbor, Olive Whitmore, who lives across the hall. Whitmore,
105, the Welsh Home's second oldest resident, personally signed
Homan has been a resident of the Cleveland area her entire life.
She grew up on a farm in Middleburg Heights, the middle of eight
children. After she finished eight years of school, she went to
work as a seamstress for Higbee's department store. She spent 50
years with the company and lived in Fairview Park with her husband
of 40 years before moving to the Welsh Home in 1999.
Up until about a year ago, Homan could still sew and walk, but has
since lost the ability to do both because of a decline in her hearing
and sight. However, the staff at the Welsh Home say she is still
"Yesterday she got a perm and she was telling them to hurry up,"
said Sally Hayes, a social worker at the Welsh Home.
In 2003 Homan was recognized by the state of Ohio as an Outstanding
Ohioan after Hayes wrote a letter about Homan to state officials.
"She such a remarkable person I had to write and tell them about
her," Hayes said.
Homan had very few words for the well-wishers at her party, but
she is still aware of her age, according to one of her nurses, Janice
"She said in the rose garden a few years ago, "I've outlived them
all," Brocksieker said.