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Nolen is 108 years young

Leta Nolen is getting plenty of practice on birthdays at Robinson Nursing Home.

The Matriarch of North Little Rock must be the city’s oldest resident at the tender age of 108, celebrated on Feb. 11. She has celebrated the last eight birthdays at the same place also — the last eight years.

Margaret Powell was there on behalf of the Mayor who proclaimed the day in Nolen’s honor.

For her part, Nolen was rather reserved but at least she didn’t run off reporters trying to take her photo.

The clear majority of those in attendance were 50 years or more younger than the honoree. She was born on Feb. 17, 1905 and lived most of her life on 18th street.

She still drove a car until way into her 100s and has been a lifelong member of North Little Rock’s First United Methodist Church.

Nolen and her husband, Jim, who died in 1957 never had any children. A distant cousin from Jonesboro who was Craighead County Sheriff in the late 1980 and early 1990s. Larry Emison is one family man who worked in the area and gave her his attention for several years.

This year Leta was confined to a wheelchair but it didn’t stop her actions. And she was asking for a little make-up and her close friend who’s like a daughter to her — Carolyn Wright got her a new dress, made arrangements for a beauty appointment to get her hair styled and gave her instructions by yelling in her ear and by seeing that the Christmas decorations stay up at least for another 20 minutes or so.

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