Clarice Ross of Perry turns 105 on Friday, but she said the celebrations started on the eve of her birth with visits from old friends on Thursday.
Clarice taught third grade in the Perry public school system for many years. Her teaching career began in 1932. She was fresh out of school and landed an $80-a-month job teaching second grade in the Woodward school system.
It was a lucky break, she said. Many of her friends teaching in rural township schools were earning as little as $40 a month. It was the depth of the Great Depression in the U.S.
Clarice’s path has not always been smooth. Her father died of a burst appendix on the day she was born in 1912, and she lost her mother to tuberculosis when she was only 5.
Clarice was raised by an aunt and uncle on a farm south of Ogden, and she survived these shocks and graduated from Ogden High School in 1930. She still speaks with pleasure of her many friends and acquaintances from her teaching days in Perry.
Clarice said she is looking forward to warmer weather after her birthday. She said her son, Gary Ross of Perry, celebrates his 81st birthday this month.