Celebrating 107 years

Kernersville native Lucille Stockton Bowman celebrated her 107th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 25, marking a lifelong journey that has allowed Bowman to witness many of the world’s most significant accomplishments and unforgettable events that make up modern day history.
Bowman was born in Kernersville in 1915, a daughter of Cornelius Stockton and Ada Grubbs Stockton, Bowman’s great niece, Robin Webb, shared as Bowman’s birthday approached.
Webb said there were 14 siblings, including four half-siblings among Bowman’s brothers and sisters. Brother John Stockton was the town photographer, while William “Sheeny” Stockton and Carl Stockton owned and operated Stockton Lunch. Another brother, Grady Stockton, served as the Kernersville chief of police for 18 years, as did Grady’s son and Bowman’s nephew, Neal Stockton. Today, Neal Stockton has the distinction of being the Town of Kernersville’s longest serving police chief, having led the department for 25 years, Webb noted.
Webb also noted that when Neal Stockton retired, the Kernersville Police Department headquarters was renamed the Stockton Law Enforcement Center, in recognition of his and his father’s law enforcement legacy over the years.
Neal Stockton called his aunt a true “pioneer” woman, who mastered canning and cooking and taking care of anyone in need.
“She’s a fabulous woman. She’s a fine lady and an outstanding mother,” Neal Stockton said. “She would always call if anyone needed anything.”
Bowman went to Kernersville School and was employed by Adams Millis before taking on a position at Bradford Village in Kernersville. She spent 27 years there, eventually becoming the nursing supervisor.
Today, Bowman resides in Oak Ridge, where she has made her home for more than 70 years. Webb noted that Bowman remains very independent.
Bowman has three children, Phillip, Judy and Kathy. She also has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, Webb said.
“All of her nieces and nephews – and great nieces and nephews – adore her greatly. She has always been there to help in anything someone needs,” Webb noted.
Of her aunt, Webb said Lucille Bowman has always been a woman on the move, even well into her 90s.
“Even at the age of 90-something, Lucille was cleaning out her own gutters. Always a go-getter,” Webb recalled.
Webb also said Bowman has always had the best sense of humor.
“Even today at 107 years old, she will make a joke and put a smile on your face,” Webb shared.
So, how did family members celebrate Bowman’s birthday this year?
“We went to visit with her a few hours on her birthday and talked about old times, as she does remember everything,” Webb said. “We took her balloons and her favorite – spaghetti and cantaloupe.”
What does Webb believe is her aunt’s secret to a long and productive life?
“She says she is fine and taking life day-by-day. She has always done for others and didn’t want people to take care of her. She likes to do things herself and is very independent. Just live life to the fullest and thank God for each day,” Webb said.
Webb concluded.
“Lucille is still the very sharp and spry woman that she has always been,” Webb said. “We, her entire family, are so blessed to have her in our lives.”

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