— The year 2012 is a milestone year in many ways.
The Girl Scouts of America celebrated their 100th
anniversary on March 12. Next month, the world will
mark 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic.
Many memorable things happened in the spring of
Albany, one woman is marking an event that few
people get the opportunity to celebrate — a 100th
Cordell was surrounded by friends, family, former
students and even a U.S. Congressman Sunday
afternoon in honor of her special day. The room at
Sherwood Baptist Church was crowded and filled with
love for a woman who has seen so much during her
asked what it is like to turn 100 years old, Cordell
simply responded, "Wonderful. Blessed."
the Lord for everything you do," Cordell later gave
as advice for people still looking ahead to that
Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, attended the
festivities and brought with him a gift from
Washington. A plaque, which contained a statement of
Congressional Record, was presented by Bishop to
Cordell during the party. Bishop recently read the
statement on the floor of the U.S. House of
Representatives and asked his collegues to join him
in paying tribute to Cordell, calling her a "beloved
teacher and inspiring figure." Bishop served in
Congress with Earl Hutto, Cordell's nephew, who
represented Florida's 1st Congressional District
the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and
be glad in it," Bishop began his remarks to the
hundreds gathered at the party.
not often I get to do a presentation at a 100th
birthday celebration. This will be only the fifth
time," he continued. "Thank you so very much for all
that you do, for all the lives you have touched,
because you have truly enriched our state, our
nation and the world is better because you are in
time you can meet living history, it is a blessing,"
Bishop said in an interview with The Albany Herald,
before his presentation. "Mrs. Cordell is deserving
of the highest honor.
has touched so many lives. The world is better
because of her. There have been so many
beneficiaries of her life that are here to honor her
was born on March 18, 1912, in Chipley, Fla., to
Albert Addison Myers and Meddie Fryer Myers. The
family moved to Albany for a short time before
moving to Rome, Ga. After earning a degree at
Shorter College, Mrs. Cordell became a teacher.
1943, she was married to Master Sgt. Wayne C. Long,
who was killed in 1944 during the Battle of the
Bulge. In 1968, she married Joel J. Cordell,
longtime superintendent of Dougherty County Schools.
The couple was married until his death in 1988.
a member of several organizations, including The
Albany Garden Club and Gold Star Wives. She was a
member of First Baptist Church and then Sherwood
Baptist Church, where she remains a member.
Cordell's family knew they wanted to plan some kind
of party as the date approached. They thought that
Sherwood might be a good place to have it, as Helen
is a longtime church member.
called the church and asked about having the party
here. They then offered to host the event. We have
to give lots of credit to the church for this," said
Connie Cordell Barnard, Cordell's stepdaughter.
line of well-wishers, who stretched outside of the
room and down a hall, waited patiently to speak with
the guest of honor and tell her what she means to
her so much," said Reba Willis Stewart, who said
that Mrs. Cordell taught her shorthand and helped
her get a job at a bank. "She is the reason I'm a
banker, and have been in the business for so long."
Throughout the afternoon, Cordell shook hands,
hugged old friends and seemed incredibly grateful
for the love that was around her. In her brief
comments to the crowd, she made it clear where her
thankfulness is directed.
be the glory," she said before she returned to greet
those still patiently waiting in line.