‘Grand Dame’ honored on 100th birthday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Features Editor

Nov. 13, 2000 10 PM

One of the genuine grand dames of Troy will be honored on the occasion of her 100th birthday, Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Holiday Inn.

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Mrs. Lucy Trotman Nall’s birthday is actually Nov. 22, but family and friends chose the weekend for the celebration.

"We wanted to make mother’s birthday celebration convenient for all of her family and friends," said her daughter, Mary Nall Hollis. "The family will have a private celebration of her 100th birthday also, but she has so many friends that we wanted to invite all of them to share this happy and wonderful time with her."

All of "Miss Lucy’s" friends are invited to a reception in her honor from 2 until 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Saturday.

"We do hope that all of those who have been a part of mother’s life will be able to join us," Hollis said. "Mother is one of the oldest people in Troy, so she has many friends of all ages."

Mrs. Nall spends time with each of her daughters – Mrs. Hollis in Huntsville and Glennie Barnard in Melbourne, Fla.

Mrs. Hollis said her mother, a Troy native, matriculated to Troy State Normal School. She shared many laughs with the self-titled "Dirty-Dozen," – a happy-go-lucky group of female students – before receiving her teaching degree in 1920.

She then began a colorful series of careers: selling insurance, recruiting young people for summer camps, recruiting for and leading tour groups to Europe and serving as Troy State Normal’s second home economics teacher.

Mrs. Nall also initiated a Troy institution when she began taking in boarders in her Murphree Street home.

The reputation of the meals she served in her home quickly grew and she was soon receiving additional "boarders" at mealtime.

Her patrons were regulars and included college professors, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other Troy professionals. She usually served 15 people at breakfast, 20 at lunch and 30 for Sunday dinner. Mrs. Nall spread the meals over two long tables set with family linens, silver, crystal and china. Her home was an important part of Troy’s culture for many years.

"I know mother will enjoy visiting with those who were part of all the good times she has had," Mrs. Hollis said. "I hope everyone will stop by for a few minutes and visit with her. It will make her 100th birthday even more special if she can share it with friends."