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Marjorie Parham, Perrine Richardson celebrate 101st birthdays

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Perrine “Perky” Richardson celebrates her 101St birthday. Photo provided

By Marvel Gentry Harmon and Dan Yount

Two Cincinnati women, Marjorie Parham and Perrine “Perky’’ Richardson, celebrated their 101st birthdays in February.

Marjorie Parham. Photo provided

Marjorie Parham, “The Cincinnati Herald” publisher emerita, who had written about so many 100th birthday observances through the years as owner and publisher of “The Cincinnati Herald,” observed her 101th birthday occasion February 12 at The Cottingham in Evendale. Mrs. Parham’s husband, Gerald Porter, founded “The Cincinnati Herald in 1955, and she took over the paper when he died suddenly from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in 1963. She along with her son Bill Spillers, now deceased, continued operating the paper until she sold it to Sesh Communications in 1996. She has continued as its publisher emerita.

Mrs. Parham is shown with famed photographer Gordon Parks while attending the March on Washington. Photo provided

Mrs. Parham once said about keeping the paper going after her husband’s death: “That is really the mission of African American newspapers going back to the 1800’s. The point was to have a means of advocating for the rights of African American people and also to have a way of talking about ourselves, telling our own stories.”

Mrs. Parham meets the presidents, Lyndon Baines Johnson during the Civil Rights era, in photo at left, and Jimmy Carter, nearly a decade later, at right. Photo provided

Perrine “Perky” Richardson celebrated her 101st birthday at home with close family and friends on February 24.

Perrine “Perky” Richardson
celebrates her 101st birthday. Photo provided

Mrs. Richardson was born February 21, 1918, in Cincinnati.

She had a huge 100th birthday party last year at Bella Sala Hall in Reading. A year’s gone by and now she’s celebrating 101, still walking around on her walker, living on her own at home, cracking jokes and enjoying her life and her family.

At first, she said she didn’t need any more birthday parties, but agreed under duress to have a family birthday celebration for each birthday she enjoys from now on.

Mrs. Richardson, the beloved matriarch of the Thompson/Elkhorn Family, is the mother of Virgil Thompson and Helen Gentry (deceased), the grandmother of seven, the great-grandmother of 11, and she has one great-great granddaughter.

She and her younger sister Martha Spell are the sole survivors of 14 children of Margaret Elkhorn.

When asked her secret for longevity, she said, “I just try to love everyone.”  And everyone loves Perky.

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