Submitted by Ken Upton with Becky Huber, Lakewood Historical Society
Celebrating her 100th birthday surrounded by a large gathering of family and friends, Lakewood pioneer, Elizabeth Poinsett, was honored between services at her place of worship, the Little Church on the Prairie, last Sunday morning. The Fellowship Hall was gaily decorated with an Hawaiian theme reminiscent of her love of music of the Islands where she and her late husband, Ray, spent many vacations. One hundred colorful Mylar balloons clung to the ceiling while the very young and old alike individually greeted Elizabeth and presented cards to this beloved member of the church and community. Kate Burch and Ken Upton led the crowd in serenading her with two favorite songs, “Tiny Bubbles” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”. Two large decorated cakes, sandwiches, coffee, and punch were served. It was a glorious and memorable morning of celebration.
Elizabeth was born on February 17, 1911 and moved with her parents to the prairie around Lake Steilacoom when she was 7 years old. Her mother and father had careers in education and Elizabeth did likewise. Her mother, Iva Alice Mann, was instrumental in establishing the school district in the Lakes area and was so recognized when Mann Jr. High School was named in her honor.
Elizabeth and her husband, of 57 years, raised two sons. She remains in their Lakewood home after his passing in 2002. Even now, at the age of 100, she keeps up with her church functions and hobby of oil painting. Some of her pictures were displayed a while back at the Lakewood Library in a showing of her family’s art work. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lakewood Historical Society and volunteers as a docent at the Historical Museum on Mt. Tacoma Drive. She is a remarkable woman, a treasure to the community, still enjoying an active life one year at a time.