Regina Byrd was a little bit late to her birthday party Wednesday afternoon at Mountlake Terrace Plaza but the guest of honor definitely made it worth the wait for her guests.
Dressed in her finest clothes, Byrd was wheeled around in the dining room and greeted her friends on a momentous occasion – her 100th birthday. Byrd is the second of five residents at the Mountlake Terrace retirement and assisted living facility who are celebrating a 100th birthday this year.
Born in Java, South Dakota, Byrd was one of 10 children – five girls and four boys. Byrd grew up on a farm in Montana and attended a nearby schoolhouse through the eighth grade.
In her teens, she worked as a cook and housekeeper in various homes and later at a nearby ranch. Byrd later met and married her first husband and moved to San Diego. She worked at an aircraft factory until the end of World War II. The couple moved to Washington and Byrd worked in the local canneries and packinghouses and also as a clerk in a drugstore. The two eventually divorced.
Byrd later married George Byrd in 1965 and they purchased a house in the Lake City area. She worked in a cannery, at the Bon Marche and also did some housekeeping work. Having no children of her own, Byrd adopted those of the people she worked for as well as the neighborhood children. Many of those relationships continue to this day. Her husband passed away in 2003 and Byrd moved to an apartment in Lake City the following year.
Byrd moved to Mountlake Terrace Plaza in 2012 after developing arthritis in her knees. She has one immediate family member still alive, her sister Ruth.