Elida woman celebrates 100th birthday

By Tony Parra

Family and friends said Doris Wall was always active in business and organizations and maybe that’s what kept her healthy enough to reach her 100th birthday Monday.

Family and friends gathered at Heartland Continuing Care Center Monday for birthday festivities for Doris Wall of Elida. Wall was born May 29, 1906 on the Tusha Claim, west of Elida, when New Mexico was a territory. On her birthday, Wall wore a three-piece green suit with a corsages.

“I wouldn’t have been anything without you,” Wall told well-wishers there to share the moment.

Wall went on to say she was appreciative of the attention she got.

“I feel like they’re doing too much for me,” Wall said with a smile.

Her story of going to school is an authentic tale of having to walk five miles one way to attend Elida Schools. The joke told at the party was that Wall’s family had the best buggy in town, but the horse would not go over the railroad tracks.

“She’s a strong lady,” Kay Moses, granddaughter of Wall, said. “She’s done quiet a lot. This is a once in a lifetime moment. She was very involved in businesses.”

Moses, 47, lives in Wichita, Kans. and came down to share the moment with the rest of her family like Cindy Wall, 57, of Houston.

Cindy Wall said her grandmother used to have advice and a saying for her when people aggravated her.

“Everytime I was aggravated by other people, she used to tell me to tell them to ‘Go beat a stump,’” Cindy said. “Don’t let them bug you. She’d always tell me not to look back, but look forward.”

There were four generations of the Wall family at the celebration.

Doris did the bookkeeping in Wall and Son stores in Elida and worked for more than 40 years. She had more than 35 people working in Wall and Son stores at one point in time. Her husband, J. Embry Wall, passed away in 1965.

“She was very active, not only in businesses, but in organizations,” Lela Jo Halliday, Wall’s daughter, said. “So was my father (Embry). He was on 21 boards when he died.”

Halliday said her mother has always kept a clean house, dresses nicely and was an excellent cook.

Dawn Krider, activities director for HCCC, presented Doris with a certificate from Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega proclaiming May 29 as Doris Wall Day.

“I’m very humbled to be the one to give her the award,” Krider told audience members said.

Doris’ father, Rufus Tusha, put in the first telephone lines in eastern New Mexico.

“I wish my dad was here,” Wall said.