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Woodinvillian turns 99

Thomas family

Left to right--front: Sib Delvecchio, Anna Thomas, Eleanor Thomas; back: Vince Delvecchio, Vivian Porter.

99th birthday by Mina Hochberg
When Anna Thomas hears the name Bothell, she remembers the Bothell family. When she hears the name Beardslee, she thinks about her favorite schoolteacher. "Mr. Beardslee was the nicest man," she'll say.
   As of July 23, Anna Thomas of Woodinville has lived one year short of a century. She celebrated her birthday with 93 of her descended family members present. According to Thomas, that number could easily have doubled with the entire family present.
   The family celebration was followed two days later by a surprise neighborhood party on Thomas' front porch, where neighbors sang and presented a cake in her honor.
   Thomas moved to the area from Sweden in 1909 when she was 12 years old. She uses the first and second world wars as reference points as she files through her life, remembering scenery and events with detail.
   "[There was] nothing here but big trees," she recalled about Woodinville. "A little farm here, a little farm there."
   Thomas and her late husband, Ellsworth, raised eight daughters. Evelyn Obyrne, Eleanor Johnson, Sib Delvecchio, Shirley Rhoades, Nita Grant, Doris Peden, Vivian Porter, and Betty Sampson all live in the Northwest.
   "They take good care of me," Thomas said.
   Today, her family continues to grow with great-great-grandchildren. "There's a lot of them little ones," Thomas said. Since growing up in the Canyon Park area, Thomas has lived all over the Northwest, from Oregon to Sultan to Edmonds.
   She likes change, but says she is content with her home in Canterbury Square.