Marie Franklin celebrated her 100th birthday at the Gardens at Whispering Knoll Assisted Living facility this week. Family, friends, residents, staff, volunteers and area officials turned out for the event in the dining room of the facility, according to a news release.


Franklin received a proclamation from Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington, a resolution from Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. and tribute by the Gardens administrator Deshona Collins. Talisha Perry, shift leader, and gospel artist Keenon Coleman provided special entertainment.


“Ms. Franklin was born to the late Sol and Gertrude Graves on Oct. 5, 1919,” according to the release. “She is the youngest of five children and the only one living. Ms. Franklin was blessed with two children, daughter, Emma Williams, and the late Marsha Lee Perkins. She is also blessed with six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Ms. Franklin said she prayed and asked God to allow her to see her grandchildren graduate and he answered her prayers.”


A member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church since the 1950’s, Franklin was a Sunday School secretary. On Sept. 23, 2016, Franklin moved into the Gardens.