Saturday, September 21, 2013

State of the Heart Hospice Patient from Versailles Marks 100th Birthday September 27

Mrs. Henrietta Hart
Friday, September 27 marks a special day for long time Versailles resident Henrietta Hart: Born in 1913, Mrs. Hart will be observing her 100th birthday. A gathering of family, friends and neighbors will be held at her son Dan’s home beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday, September 28 to mark the milestone event. The birthday party will be at 7054 Beamsville-Webster Rd., Versailles.

Mrs. Hart, a State of the Heart Hospice patient, said she is “looking forward” to the gathering where she looks to try some of her favorite food – chicken, and any desserts or sweets that are on the table. “It is hard to believe I am 100,”she said recently from the home of caregiver Sherry Benge in Ansonia. Originally, she was cared for by Benge in her home in Versailles but moved to Benge’s house in Ansonia year ago.

Her son Dan said she is the last of 11 children in her family. He doesn’t think that longevity is characteristic of the family, but he is not surprised his mother is turning 100. “She always walked, biked (until in her 90’s) and was very physical and determined in her life,” he said. In addition to Dan, Mrs. Hart’s other children are: Tom of North Carolina, Jim of Bradford, Dale of New York, and Janet Bulcher of Indiana. Son Dan said he expects a lot of close family, extended family and friends and neighbors to attend the party.

For many years, the Hart family operated a poultry farm in Versailles and at one time had over 50,000 laying hens. “I remembered gathering eggs,” Mrs. Hart said. She spent her years helping with the poultry farm. A native of Trinity, Indiana, she lived in Versailles for over 70 years. Her husband, Henry, died in an accident in 1976.

Mrs. Hart is one of three State of the Heart Hospice patients who is 100 years old or older. The Greenville hospice staff also cares for a 103-year old patient, and the agency’s Portland office staff cares for a 105 year old patient. The non-profit agency cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. There are offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland.

“I don’t know what I would do without the help from the hospice staff,” stated Benge. Having hospice care, she said, has enabled Mrs. Hart to remain in a home environment. She is visited regularly by a hospice nurse, hospice aide, and a hospice social worker. A volunteer visits also, sitting with Mrs. Hart allowing Benge to run errands. “The staff handles everything,” Benge said. “I didn’t know how hospice operated until now. The staff is so caring and kind and takes the time to spend with Henrietta,” she said. For her birthday, a State of the Hospice volunteer will bake a special cake for Mrs. Hart in observance of the special day.

On Friday, Mrs. Hart will be greeted by the sight of balloons in the front lawn of Benge’s home, announcing and celebrating her birthday. Later, she will get a corsage for the party.

The number of centenarians in the United States is increasing, according to state and national numbers. In 2010 in Ohio, there were 1,891 people 100 years old or older. Of those, 1,624 were women and 267 were men. Nationally, statistics from the 2010 census revealed that there are over 53,364 people 100 years old or older in the United States. Of that number, 80 percent were female.

State of the Heart Hospice is observing 32 years of service to communities served by the non-profit agency. For more information about any of the services provided by the agency, visit the web site at

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