Zella Moretz Roberts celebrated her 105th birthday on Feb. 28, 2014 at Broadmore Senior Living, where she is the oldest living resident.
Her birthday was acknowledged not only by her family and peers but also by her hometown where the Bristol, Tenn., City Council bestowed on her a key to the city. BTN, the cities’ television network, also did an interview that will be broadcast in the near future.
The emcee for the birthday celebration was Tim Buchanan, who told of significant events that occurred in Bristol in 1909, the year in which Ms. Roberts was born.
A resident of Broadmore since 2011, Ms. Roberts has been asked for years to what she attributes her long life, and she’s responded “the blessing of God and good genes.”
Zella Moretz was born on Feb. 28, 1909, a cold Sunday morning, in Meat Camp, N.C., to Eugene and Dora Hartley Moretz. She was the seventh child, and would eventually welcome three more brothers into the family.
In the late 1920s Zella went to work at the Green Inn, on King Street, in Boone. She moved to High Point in the early 1930s and worked in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Harry Lyndon Brockmann for several years. At the urging of her brothers, she moved to Bristol in 1936 and on April 2, 1938 she married Russell Butler Roberts.
After Butler’s death in 1993 she continued living in the home they built, doing her own housework and driving around town for errands. In September 2011 she moved to Broadmore Senior Living.
Zella has always inspired her family and friends with her many talents, physical stamina, a willingness to help others, and her “can do” attitude. With more than 45 nieces and nephews and hundreds of great- and great-great-nieces and nephews across the county, there is constantly a family member coming through the doors at Broadmore looking for “Aunt Zella.”
Birthday wishes to may be mailed to Zella Moretz Roberts, Broadmore Senior Living, 826 Meadowview Road, Bristol, Va. 24201.