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Celebrating the years: ‘Ms. Dee’ honored at her 100th birthday


Dolores Mielnicki celebrated her 100th birthday in March at a special event at Family Ministries Retirement and Assisted Living in Limestone.

During the celebration, Avalon Hospice’s Disabled Veteran Volunteer Mike Harman did the first pinning ceremony commemorating “Ms. Dee’s” service in the U.S. Navy. 

Eric Montgomery, a local World War II historian, presented her with a pin and coin as well as the edited image of herself on the cover of LIFE magazine. She was also presented gifts from Allen Jackson of the American Legion Kings Mountain Post No.24, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Michael Hensley, East Tennessee Field Representative for U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, also presented a formal letter commemorating her service and wishing her a happy birthday, on behalf of Senator Blackburn.

The DAV, Navy ROTC from Davy Crockett H.S., U.S. Navy recruitment officers, as well as several members from her family were present for the celebration.

The Avalon Hospice chaplain who led the opening prayer was Gary Knapp.

Family Ministries Retirement & Assisted Living provided the decorations and refreshments, including the U.S. Navy-themed Peggy Ann’s Bakery cake depicting her picture from the service. 

Sentinel Homecare and Avalon Hospice also provided refreshments.

Pam Keeton, Social worker for Avalon Hospice, coordinated the drive-by parade and helped our Activities Director, Ashley Strickland, organize the event from start to finish.

Allen Jackson also helped organize the drive-thru parade and encouraged several antique car clubs to join in the fun, since antique cars are a favorite of Ms. Dee.