“I am going for 100,” Gerry Harding Davis said at her 99th birthday party in 2018.
On Friday morning, family, friends and even Mayor Andy Brauninger saw Davis reach her goal at Carriage Inn retirement home in Huntsville.
Davis was born in Palestine on May 3, 1919 and raised in Dodge. She married Floyd Harding, the long-time owner of Walker County Hardware, in 1928, and they remained together until his passing in 1992. Floyd originally started working for Mr. Woodriff at Walker County Hardware, which was originally located on the historic downtown square.
Floyd and his brother brought out Woodriff, with Floyd eventually buying out his brother to take full ownership of the historic Huntsville business.
During their life in Huntsville, the duo raised two children, Lynn Reynolds and Jimmy Harding.
“I could not have asked for a better mother,” Harding said. “I had a great time growing up with and learning from her.”
Davis remarried later in her life, wedding Ralph Davis in 1996. Ralph was a lifelong Huntsville citizen and served on Huntsville City Council, the Walker County Hospital District board and as the Walker County Judge
Gerry is a long-time member of First Baptist Church Huntsville.
In her early days, Davis enjoyed fishing, which she would do twice a week, catching many fish each time. Davis’ other interests include deer hunting and gardening, in which she won several awards. Additionally, Davis was a great bowler, competing on the state and national level.
“Bowling with her is my favorite memory growing up,” Gerry’s grandson Sean said. “She has always been full of life and fun to be around.”
During her birthday celebration on Friday, Mayor Brauninger honored Davis’ love for her community with a key to the city.
“I appreciate the Harding family letting me join today to honor Gerry,” said Mayor Brauninger. “Mothers are special. It is impossible to describe a mother, they are great. This is a major milestone.”
“And many more” at the end of the birthday toast is a challenge Davis is taking head on.
“She’s a fighter,” said Davis’ granddaughter Sandee Harding, “she has a lot of life to live.”