Grandmother of Salem High Principal turns 100

Shawn Nowlin

Submitted photo
Front row, left to right: William Habeeb, Becky Beckner, Anna Habeeb, McKenna Habeeb and Kristin Elder (granddaughter). Second row, left to right: Greg Habeeb (grandson), Laura Reilly (granddaughter), Stephanie Pfromer (granddaughter), Matthew Habeeb, Kate Elder, Emma Elder, Christy Habeeb (granddaughter-in-law), Kelsey Habeeb and Julie Habeeb (granddaughter-in-law.) Back row, left to right: Scott Habeeb (grandson), Forrest Curtis and Nancy Curtis (family friends), Kathy Habeeb (daughter), Daniel Habeeb, Michael Elder (grandson-in-law), Justin Applegate holding Beckett Applegate (great-great-grandson) and Kaitlin Habeeb Applegate.

A birthday gathering took place last month at Snyder’s Nursing Home to celebrate

one of Salem’s oldest residents – Ella “Becky” Beckner. On October 6, family members, friends and Snyder’s staff commemorated Beckner turning 100.

When asked which words best describe her, several attendees said, “She is spunky, full of life and loves to laugh.”

Born in Kentucky in 1919, Beckner and her five siblings were sent to live in the Junior Order Children’s Home in Tiffin, Ohio, when they were young because their mother, a widow, was too poor to raise them on her own. It was in Ohio that Ella met Dan Beckner, her high school sweetheart that she would go on to marry after receiving her diploma. The couple was wedded for nearly 60 years until Dan passed away. They had three children together – Dan Beckner, Dave Beckner and Kathy Habeeb.

When Scott Habeeb thinks of his grandmother, her unconditional love is one of the first things that comes to mind. “She was my doubles partner in tennis growing up and loved to play cards and take walks. She found every chance she could to give her grandkids money – something that drove my grandfather crazy,” Habeeb, Salem High School’s Principal, said.

Living 100 years is an incredible milestone to accomplish. In addition to eight grandchildren, Beckner also has 18 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

“I loved hearing stories about how she grew up in the Home. I love that she loves Jesus and loves to sing hymns. She had a great voice when I was a kid and would play the piano and worship her God,” Habeeb said before adding, “If you judge a person’s life by their legacy, my grandmother’s life has been an amazing success. The world is a better place because she and my grandfather chose to obey God, love their kids and be kind to others.” ‘

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