The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has a very nice and warm practice of honoring county citizens who live to be 100 years old; however, on Thursday, Nov. 18, the board did something novel: It honored a county woman who was 102 – and who was as spry as the other attendees in the meeting room who were on average less than half her age.
Erline Dennis, the woman of the hour, was originally supposed to be honored by the board when she turned 100 a couple of years ago. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board suspended the practice of honoring centenarians for nearly two years. (For obvious reasons, during the pandemic, no one thought it was a good idea to bring 100-year-olds down to a meeting room to shake hands with nine commissioners and then pose at the center of jam-packed crowd pictures.)
Due to that extended waiting period, Dennis is thought to be the oldest resident ever to be honored by the board.
Guilford County Commissioner Carlvena Foster, who represents much of High Point, read the resolution honoring the life of Dennis, a High Point resident who was a teacher for much of her life.
Dennis graduated from Winston-Salem State University and taught 5th and 6th grade classes in the Guilford County school system for about 40 years.
The resolution also noted her service in other ways and called her a “community leader.”
“This is such an honor,” Dennis told the board excitedly. “I am really at a loss of words. I am really thankful that you thought of me and that you have taken your time to give me this honor. I am just carried away.”
She added that she will remember it as long as she lives.
She also got a good laugh from the board after the highlights of her life had been read from the resolution.
“You said some things that I had forgotten myself,” she told the commissioners. “I thought, when did that happen? When did I do that?”
Dennis got a standing ovation from all those in the commissioners’ second-floor meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House.
High Point Enterprise Reporter Paul Johnson commented after the ceremony that he hopes he’s as articulate and lively at 62 as Dennis is at 102.