Alfred Karsten led songs and shared memories at Florence Meyer’s 100th birthday celebration Tuesday.

Florence Meyer’s 100th birthday celebration included releasing that many balloons.

Florence Meyer’s family, friends and fellow residents gathered to help her celebrate an accomplishment she always said she wanted to achieve.

She turned 100 years old yesterday.

“Thank you so much,” she said to the audience. “Thanks to the Lord for my health so far.”

One of the speakers at the party was Alfred Karsten, who was a long time member of the old St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church near the Iowa/Benton county line, where Florence played the organ for many years. Karsten led the group in singing many of the old Gospel songs that Florence used to play on the organ. After that church closed, Florence became involved with Grace Lutheran Church in Blairstown.

Florence was born on her family’s farm near Watkins, and married Theopil Meyer, another Benton County farmer. They built their own house in 1954, and Florence remained there until moving to the Vinton Lutheran Home a couple years ago. She was known for mowing her lawn until age 96, and for helping her sister work with flowers up until last year.

She also loved quilting; between 2008 and 2011, she made 120 quilts to donate to the Lutheran World Relief. She was also known for making quilts for special occasions for family members.

“Mom always said she wanted to live to be 100, and she made it,” said daughter Eileen Kruetner.

Several family members were present for the party on Wednesday. More will attend another celebration in a couple of days.

Florence inspires those around her says Sarah Smith, the Lutheran Home activities director.

“Ask the employees at the Vinton Lutheran Home why they do the jobs that they do, and the majority would say that they greatly enjoy working with the residents,” said Smith. Today, our staff was especially reminded of why they love their jobs as they celebrated a very special occasion. Florence Meyer turned 100 years old today and had an amazing party to commemorate the event. Staff, family, and friends gathered to wish her well. Guests enjoyed cake, punch, and musical entertainment. Florence later went outdoors and let 100 balloons float into the sky. What a special day for all.”

See more photos HERE.