In good spirits

Mary Gossett is in good spirits as her daughter, Toni Hunter, and the Greenville chapter of Disabled American Veterans sing “Happy Birthday” to her as she celebrates her 100th birthday.

Members of the Greenville chapter of Disabled American Veterans shared in a special occasion Monday as one of the members of its auxiliary celebrated her 100th birthday.

“Yes. This is just wonderful,” Mary Gossett said with a big smile as long-time friends wished her well.

“They didn’t take her  (driver’s) license away until she was 95,” DAV Commander John Turner joked as he chatted with her.

Gossett, whose been a member of the DAV Auxiliary for at least 40 years, remained active in the organization even after her husband, Weldon’s, passing in 1986.

In 1919, she was born one of seven children to Virgil Preston Strayhorn and Lettie Ann Barnes Strahorn in Aberfoyle, Texas, but mostly grew up outside of Trenton.

One of her brothers who went on to serve in World War II sadly died during the Invasion of Normandy.

As a young adult, Gossett’s first job was with Haggar Clothing, where she made made 50 cents an hour.

After retiring in 1969, Gossett became a dealer for Stanley Home Products – which she continued to sell for at least the next 20 years – both to earn an income and to have a flexible schedule since her husband was ill.

Gossett’s daughter, Toni Hunter, currently lives with her and looks after her.

“She broke her hip two months ago,” Hunter explained. “She’s had a hard time recuperating, but talking about her birthday has brought a smile to her face these last few weeks.”

Indeed, Gossett’s celebration is that much sweeter as it’s not over yet because her official birthday isn’t until Thursday.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email

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