BRITT | June Tweed treasures her memories.
And she has many.
“We feel blessed to have her,” said Tweed’s oldest daughter, Bev McNeese of Britt.
On June 27, Tweed turned 102 years old, and at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 — National Centenarian Day — Westview Care Center in Britt will host a public open house, including cake and ice cream, to honor her.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 53,364 centenarians — individuals who live to 100 years old and beyond — in the United States. The Census reports that 9,162 were men and 44,402 were women. The median age for Iowans in 2015 was 38.1.
“I remember she used to say she was going to live until the Lord comes back,” said Tweed’s youngest daughter, Linda Tweed of Byron, Minnesota. “That’s what she’s always said. You know what, she could make it. I remember you saying that so many times.”
“But I believe it,” June Tweed said with a smile as she sat in between McNeese and Linda Tweed.
Tweed’s daughters — two of the three — visited her Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Westview, and with them, they brought a thick scrapbook packed with old photographs, mementos and notes their mother has collected throughout her life.
The scrapbook, which is titled “The Life and Memories of June Thompson Tweed,” was made by Tweed’s daughters and other relatives for her 90th birthday.
“It’s really her whole life,” McNeese said. “She kept track of every detail.”
A souvenir from her 1939 honeymoon in Duluth, Minnesota, a receipt for her wedding expenses and notes from her 90th birthday party were some of the things included in the book.
“She loves to look at it,” McNeese said.
Tweed’s eyes lit up as she paged through the scrapbook.
“You did a good job,” she said of the book.
At the time the book was given, Linda Tweed said they didn’t know their mother was going to live to see 100 or more.
Tweed was born on June 27, 1915, in Forest City. Prior to marrying Elmer Tweed in 1939, she worked at Forest City Produce, where she plucked chickens for 25 cents an hour.
After marrying, she moved to an 80-acre farm in Joice, where they raised “a little of everything,” including chickens, pigs and cattle.
McNeese and Linda Tweed recalled their mother’s homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade bread and fried chicken.
“Everybody thinks she makes the best friend chicken,” McNeese said.
Elmer and June Tweed had three daughters: McNeese, Marlys Murray of Colorado and Linda Tweed.
In 1976, Elmer died, and June Tweed moved to Town Square Apartments in Forest City, where she’d remain until she moved to Westview Care Center in December 2010.
Before arriving at the care center, June Tweed enjoyed gardening vegetables and flowers, sewing, playing games, like Rummikub, and volunteering, especially at Calvary Baptist Church in Forest City.
“She loves going to church,” McNeese said, noting no matter where her mother is, she makes it a point to attend church each week.
June Tweed has 13 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 15 great, great grandchildren.
When asked if she ever thought she’d see 100 years old, she said, “No,” while laughing. “200, maybe.”
“She’s an amazing little lady,” Linda Tweed said. “We love her very, very much.”