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Local resident celebrates 100 years

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Mary Guiney may be 100 years old, but that doesn't stop her from doing what she wants.

On Saturday, her family and friends are coming together to celebrate the centenarian's milestone 2 p.m. at the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church -- a party that she helped to plan.

"100 years old is amazing, but what's really amazing is that she doesn't look a day over 80," daughter Rigby Duncan said about her mother. "She's healthy, active and dresses to the nine even though she lost her vision several years ago."

Guiney was born in 1912 in Pennsylvania and is the only surviving sibling (of seven). She met her late husband in Pittsburgh and they spent most of their lives in West Virginia raising two daughters, Duncan and Carolyn Fetner. After her girls had left the nest and her husband died, she moved to Gwinnett to be closer to her grandchildren.

Since then, she worked for the Gwinnett County Public School Library System at Lawrenceville, B.B. Harris and Dyer Elementary schools until she turned 71. Guiney continued to volunteer at Dyer Elementary until she was 96 when she started losing her vision.

Without the use of her sight, this centenarian still keeps active in her community and with her friends.

"She will see her hairdresser and manicurist on Thursdays without fail, lunch with friends or one of her social groups and check on her own house which is kept vacant just in case she decides to move back there (in Forest Hills)," friend Kay Morgareidge said. "Sunday routine is church (at St. Edward's Episcopal Church) then a visit with her other daughter, Carolyn.

"Mary sets high standards for herself, and meets them. You will enjoy a visit with her and you won't hear any complaints or 'I wish I had done so and so.' There have been broken bones with a long stay in a convalescent center, a heart attack years ago, then loss of her vision, but she has met difficulties and limitations with grace."

Today, more than 40 family members have traveled in town to see Guiney, plus other friends from her Red Hatters group, parishioners from church and anyone else who would like to stop by.

"It's only a reception," Duncan said. "We couldn't plan anything except for people to come by and say happy birthday to her between 2 and 4 p.m. People can drop in and leave as they want."

Later on Saturday, Guiney's family is throwing a barbecue party for her in Lawrenceville.

"That's when we'll sing happy birthday," Duncan said.

St. Edward's is located at 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville.