Copperas Cove woman celebrates 100th birthday
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Estelle “Sissy” Lovejoy Newton celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, with some extra help from friends and family who sent dozens of cards in lieu of a party.
She was born on November 15, 1920 on what is now Fort Hood and grew up in Pidcoke. She was the oldest of three children, with two younger brothers.
Sissy married Cecil Lee Newton, Sr. on July 20, 1940. They had two sons, Cecil Lee Newton, Jr. and David Lynn Newton. Their grandchildren include Col. Brandon Newton and his wife, Lilla and Jeffery Newton and his wife, Amy; and the couple’s three great-grandchildren are Molly, Jack and Alex Newton.
Cecil was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served in the F Company, 334th Regiment of the 84th Infantry Division. His division went to England in September 1944 and to combat in Germany in November 1944. He returned home in December 1945.
Upon his return to Pidcoke, Cecil and Sissy ran the grocery store and filling station in town until 1955 and then moved to Copperas Cove in 1956.
Sissy worked for the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce for three years and then worked at Cove State Bank for 21 years, in what is now the Copperas Cove ISD’s District and Training Facility on Main Street, before retiring in 1982. Cecil retired from the civil service at Fort Hood in 1981. He passed away on December 20, 2016 at the age of 97.
Sissy and Cecil had also been in the cattle and ranching business since 1972.
“She could tell you the names of every one of the cows she’s ever had,” said her son Lee Newton.
Sissy said she tries to stay busy. She enjoys watching the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Baylor Women’s Basketball teams as well as University of Texas sports.
On turning 100, Sissy said she felt lucky.
“I’m blessed, and I can still get around, and I can still stay home,” Sissy said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she would go to the story and grocery shop for herself, and she had been driving until she was 96 years old. She recently even passed her vision test and got her driver’s license again to use for identification, she said.
Sissy said she thinks it’s important to stay busy and even attributed her long life to doing so.
“Don’t sit still, keep moving,” Sissy said. “When you retire, don’t sit down, just keep moving. I retired when I was 62 because I wanted to draw my Social Security because I didn’t think I’d live until I was 65, and here I am 100.”
Due to concerns of COVID-19, the family decided to forgo a party and instead asked for the community and friends and family to send Sissy cards in the mail for her milestone birthday. The family is also planning a birthday parade at her son Lee’s house when the family is in for Thanksgiving, Lee said.
Sissy said she received 20 cards in one day on Friday and others earlier in the week, and even some flowers.
“I’m blessed, and I’m enjoying them,” Sissy said about her birthday cards.