Helen Anstead celebrates 106th birthday

Even though Helen Anstead’s 106th birthday was on Aug. 9, she celebrated with family and friends Aug. 1 to 18. Many lovely friends and neighbors stopped by with flowers, cards, cakes and treats.

Friends Gerald and Renata began the party one week earlier, delivering their annual fresh strawberry cake, served to all her visitors.

Son Paul (Betsy) Anstead of Lincoln continued their daily generous assistance to her.

Daughter Helen (Don) Hillman of Grand Blanc, arrived on Wednesday, Aug. 7, to begin the preliminary preparations.

Nephew Fred Anstead and his three sons from Gregory, Mich., stopped and had lunch with her on Thursday, Aug. 8.

On Friday, Aug. 9, a Mass of Thanksgiving was offered in her home by the Rev. Stan Bereda, retired pastor, followed by brunch, attended by the immediate family, nephew Tom Anstead, and Donna Bushey.

Later on Friday, grandson Robert Hillman and daughter Audrey, from Lansing, arrived in time to help Grandma Helen bake and decorate a delicious lemon cake using a favorite fluffy frosting, which has been a delightful tradition for many years.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, grandson Patrick Hillman from Novi, and granddaughter Katherine (Kyle) Urek and daughter Annalise from Rochester Hills, arrived with 3-foot sized helium balloons in the shape of the digits, “106.” A delicious “farm-to-table” meal which included freshly picked garden vegetables was served and enjoyed.

On Aug. 16 to 18, son John (Carole) Anstead of Westlake, Ohio, concluded the celebrations with more garden delights, treats and sweets. Because of work schedules, their sons, Brent of St. Louis, Mo., and Brian of Columbus, Ohio, were unable to come.

Helen Anstead is a most grateful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother as she revels in this extraordinary milestone birthday.