Elsie Teresa Webb recently celebrated her 100th birthday at a catered party at Dunedin's Knights of Columbus Hall with friends, relatives and the doctors who performed her bypass surgery six months ago.
The Dunedin resident was born in Clifton, N.J., to Italian immigrants Joseph and Katherine Belli. The youngest of six children, she grew up in Passaic, N.J., where her father worked as a carpenter and her mother was a homemaker.
"We were poor," recalled Mrs. Webb. "I quit school in the eighth grade to go to work."
But three days a week for the next two years she was able to attend what was called "Continuation School," a chance to further her education while holding down a job.
She married Al Belli, who made his living in cabinetmaking and taxidermy, in New Jersey on Sept. 8, 1926. The couple has a son and two daughters, one now deceased. The marriage lasted 58 years until Mr. Belli's death in 1984.
"He took me to Europe on our honeymoon, to meet his parents," Mrs. Webb said. "We went again on our 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries. The last time we made the trip I was 75 years old!"
In 1988, she met Robert Webb when he showed up with his niece to take a tour of the Paradise Park mobile home she was selling.
"He told me he'd take the place if I came with it," Mrs. Webb laughed. "And he did!"
They were married for four years until his death in 1992.
Mrs. Webb came to Florida 50 years ago from New York, lived in Largo for 35 years, and moved to Palm Lake Village in 1996.
She has traveled extensively, been all over the world and seen just about everything.
Her philosophy on living to 100 includes herbs and vitamins and the belief that "God answers prayers."
Couples celebrate decades together
George L. and Marie B. White of Palm Harbor celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary June 27 at a reception with many family members and friends at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Holiday.
They were married June 29, 1943, at St. Cecelia Roman Catholic Church in Kearney, N.J.
The couple came here in 1976 from New Jersey, lived in Indian Rocks Beach for 20 years and have lived at Tarpon Pointe Circle in Highland Lakes for 15 years.
Mr. White worked 15 years as a housing authority inspector and was also in the real estate business for many years. Mrs. White worked 15 years as a secretary for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.
They are members of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Palm Harbor.
They are involved with the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and are active in the Highland Lakes Club.
The Whites have a son, George White; two daughters, Carol Ford and Sheri Edwards; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
• • •
Jess and Alice Bell of Largo celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with family receptions.
The Bells were married July 4, 1948, in Clarksburg, W.Va.
Mr. Bell is a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and served as a captain.
The couple came here in 1959 from Clarksburg.
They owned and operated Belmar Studio of Photography for 26 years in Clearwater.
Both are members of New Testament Baptist Church of Largo.
They have a son, Ronald R. Bell of Largo.
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Jerry and Alice Lipscomb of Clearwater recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a renewal of vows and dinner with 40 family members and friends at Shells Restaurant on Clearwater Beach.
Highlights included having all four of their children together for the weekend, displaying Mrs. Lipscomb's wedding dress and watching a video made of the couple's wedding and reception.
The Lipscombs were married June 20, 1958, in Lincoln Park, Mich.
They came here in September 1962 from Lincoln Park.
He worked 39 years as an electronic technician for Raytheon.
She worked for Maas Brothers, then Burdines, for a total of 16 years.
They are members of Friendship United Methodist Church in Clearwater.
He belongs to the Clearwater Community Chorus and Clearwater Coin Club.
The couple loves to travel and have visited 49 states, with Kansas their next destination.
The Lipscombs have four children, nine grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
To submit an item, write to Nova Beall, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Good For You includes news of 50th wedding anniversaries, people celebrating their 100th birthday (or more) and young people's noteworthy achievements academically, in the arts or community service. For information or an anniversary form, call (727) 445-4221.