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Published Jan. 25, 2012

Helen Louise Walters Thomson, of Largo, celebrated her 106th birthday on Dec. 14. She grew up on a 20th century farm situated on 14 acres where her family grew its own vegetables and raised chickens, ducks, cows and pigs. She graduated from St. Joseph's Academy, an all-girls school, in 1924. Helen went to work at the Singer sewing machine company as a bookkeeper, where she met her future husband, Willard Thomson (now deceased). The couple dated six months and married on June 26, 1926. Thomson had four children: Ruth, Margaret, Willard and Thomas. She joins in an exercise class daily for a 30- to 40-minute workout. She also enjoys daily devotions, painting class and visiting with friends at Heron House, where she lives.

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Edith Girschkowsky Wollin, of St. Petersburg, celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 18. She was born in Berlin, Germany, and is the daughter of Margarethe Stein and Gustav Girschkowsky. She came to the United States in 1926 and became a U.S. citizen in 1945. She married Bruno E. Wollin (now deceased) on Dec. 25, 1931, in Brooklyn, N.Y. They had one son, Harold. Wollin moved to the St. Petersburg area in 1969 from Danbury, Conn. She enjoys listening to music and is a member of New Apostolic Church in St. Petersburg.