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Lake City centurion gets her own day

Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt presents longtime resident Hazel Dorminy with a proclamation recognizing May 13 in her honor Monday. Dorminy will turn 100 May 20.

Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt presents longtime resident Hazel Dorminy with a proclamation recognizing May 13 in her honor Monday. Dorminy will turn 100 May 20.

— Woodrow Wilson had only been president of the United States for two months when Hazel Dorminy was born. The “Great War” hadn’t begun and people were still living in the Edwardian era.

A century later, she can say she has lived through 17 presidential administrations, two world wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, the women’s liberation movement, the Cold War and the advent of the Computer Age.

And, Lake City officials said this week that if it weren’t for the fact that she was confined to a wheelchair, she’d still be cutting hair.

For her part, Dorminy joked that she feels like she still has some “get up and go” after a century of living.

“I’m much better now than I was because I had two knees replaced and I had a hip replaced so I’m getting around pretty good,” she said.

This week, Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt presented Dorminy a proclamation recognizing May 13 as Hazel Dorminy Day in the city. She owned a beauty shop in Lake City for more than 50 years until she closed it in December — when she was 99, Oswalt said.

Dorminy will turn 100 May 20.

“You deserve a proclamation so we’re going to give you one,” Oswalt told Dorminy.

Dorminy lived in Lake City for more than half a century until recently, when she moved into the Palms of Lake Spivey Retirement Community in Jonesboro.

“We have some people every once in a while who asks if Hazel still fixes hair and I say, ‘If you go down there where she is, I’d bet she’d fix your hair,’ ” Oswalt told Dorminy.

She quickly quipped, “I’d comb it for them.”

Oswalt told Dorminy that she was one of the building blocks of Lake City and that city leaders wanted to make sure she knew how important she was to the town.

In response, Dorminy and her son, Jimmy, expressed their thanks to the officials and admiration for the city.

“I appreciate Lake City and I love Lake City,” Dorminy said.

Jimmy Dorminy added, “Willie, we really appreciate you doing this for our mother” as he spoke for his family.

“She’s really fortunate that she came from some good genes,” the son continued. “All of her sisters lived long lives, but mother — we’re proud of her.”