SUDLERSVILLE — Annabelle Coleman of Sudlersville celebrated her 100th birthday with literally all the bells and whistles as three fire companies — Sudlersville, Millington and Crumpton — all drove past her home with sirens and flashing lights on Sunday afternoon, April 26.
Her family had planned a big celebration, however, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they had to modify the celebration to family and friends coming up the driveway in their cars and waving to Annabelle from their vehicles. More than 100 vehicles with well-wishers participated.
The plan also was for her to sit on the front porch in a chair at her home where she could be seen clearly by the drive-by participants, but Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. It was a cloudy, damp day with temperatures at a cool 55 degrees at 1 p.m. when the celebration began. Coleman had to sit inside during the celebration. She waved from one of two windows from the dinning room.
The outside of the home was decorated with large golden balloons with the numbers “100” shown prominently and a printed wish of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” under the window.
The family had asked that no gifts be delivered, however, she did receive printed commendations from both Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot congratulating her on achieving her centennial milestone.
Coleman is a lifelong resident of Sudlersville. She attended Sudlersville Elementary School and graduated from Sudlersville High School. In 1938, she married Charles “Brownie” Coleman, a local farmer, and they worked side by side on a grain and dairy farm as they raised their three children.
In 1969, Coleman left the farm and began a career in education. Beginning work in the school cafeteria at Sudlersville Elementary, she was encouraged to apply for a position as an instructional assistant at the school. This position lasted for 26 years. She retired in 1995 but continued to stay busy on the family farm.
Her motto of hard work and everything in moderation has undoubtedly paid off in reaching her 100th birthday, family members said.
Coleman’s daughter Loretta Walls said, “When the drive-by celebration ended, she told me she really enjoyed it.”