Leaman celebrates 100th birthday at Hickory House

Jackie Leaman with her Bingo birthday cake. Image provided.

Mildred E. Leaman, known as “Jackie” for many years by her friends, was born 100 years ago on March 21, 1913, to Carl J. and May V. Lindstrand in West Chester, PA.

Jackie celebrated her 100th birthday with a surprise party at Hickory House Nursing Home in Honey Brook where she was joined by family members and friends.

“It surprised me to no end,” she said of the party. “I just loved seeing everyone together.”

Hickory House prepared a special Bingo-themed cake for her birthday. Leaman has been a resident at Hickory House for 12 years and spoke highly of the staff she has come to know so well.

“They have all been very pleasant to me and make me happy. They treat you nice, feed you nice, and they are good to you just like a family.”

Jackie was raised in West Chester and graduated from West Chester High School in 1930.

She was a very good dancer, as was her older brother, Carl. They and their friends would go to a lot of dances and even entered several dance contests, many of which they won.

While taking a nursing course at Harrisburg State Hospital she met her future husband, Harold W. Leaman, who also worked there. They were married at a ceremony held in her home on March 21, 1935, which was also her birthday. They lived in Harrisburg for a while and then moved to Coatesville where they had a daughter. Jackie was a stay-at-home mom for several years and then went to work for the Lukens Steel Company as a private secretary in the Public Relations Department until she retired in 1975.

Jackie and her husband had a lot of interests during their 51 years of marriage. They enjoyed their many friends, dancing, horseback riding, traveling in the United States and abroad, playing cards and Bingo, fishing, gardening, bowling, reading and doing volunteer work at Brandywine Hospital. She enjoyed quiet time doing her Crewel work and knitting. In her later years, after her husband passed away in 1986, Jackie became active with Coatesville’s Senior Center and continued making new friends and keeping herself busy.