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Ivie Pearl Stephens celebrated her 105th birthday on Sunday, Jan. 12, in St. Augustine, Fla. with her two daughters, Corinne Stephens and Annette Hill.
Ivie Pearl was born to BJ and Ivie Ward Hamrick on Jan. 12, 1915 in Monticello. She is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County as was her mother, father and grandparents.
Her father, who was a Jefferson County Judge, Jefferson County School Superintendent and the State Representative for Jefferson County, was born in the Elizabeth Community and her mother was born in the family home on Texas Hill.
She was educated in the Jefferson County School District and graduated from Monticello High School. She then continued her education at the Messer Business School in Tallahassee.
Ivie Pearl was employed by the Jefferson County Property Appraiser for 56 before she years retired at age 85. She worked for both Property Appraisers Steve Walker, Sr. and Steve Walker, Jr. during those years. Prior to this employment, she taught business and worked one session with the Florida Legislature at the old Capitol building.
She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Monticello until marrying Jack Stephens on June 5, 1946; after which she joined him in membership of the Monticello First United Methodist Church.
She was also a proud member of a Monticello Garden Club and has acquired a Lifetime Member of the Eastern Star.
Ivie Pearl continues to reside in her home on North Jefferson Street in Monticello.
When asked the differences in her days as a school girl and what she sees now, Ivie Pearl shares that there were no school buses back then, so she and her two sisters and brother walked to school everyday regardless of the weather. After walking back home in the afternoon she would take care of the chickens and ducks that she and her sister raised as 4-H projects. She would then milk the family cow to help her mother, who sold their excess milk for five cents a quart to friends who did not have a cow. She ended her days doing her homework by kerosene lamps.
On the subject of her longevity, she contributes it to good genes, a loving family, lots of homegrown foods, not smoking or drinking and being well blessed by God.