GREENVILLE — Lucille Frankman Thomas has never been to the county fair before on Monday when the Oldest Person is announced, but she was this year and won the contest and the $160 that went with it.
Usually, the oldest fair-goer gets $100 if registered at the mike tent by 11 a.m., but it was raised this year to reflect the 160th anniversary of the Great Darke County Fair. The money comes from both the Darke County Agricultural Society and Gregory Peck Sound Service.
Thomas will be celebrating her 103rd birthday on Sept. 10, making her one of the three people over the age of 100 at the fair on Monday morning. Last year’s winner and this year’s second oldest winner, Roy Weikert, was also in attendance and will be 103 on Oct. 22. Both of course, were born in 1013.
Third place went to Mary Powell Martin, who had also worked at the hospital at one point in time. She will mark her 102nd birthday on Sunday.
Thomas’ son, Bill Frankman, retired firefighter, brought her to the fair, where she
She was married and widowed twice; first to Dr. Charles Frankman, who died in 1947, and the second time to Charlie Thomas in 1968. She has two children by her first marriage and gained five more with her two marriages. Plus, there are numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Thomas was a surgical nurse for Wayne Hospital for 30 years, retiring in 1970. She went to nursing school at Flowers Hospital in Toledo.
The former Lucille Sells said she was a farm girl, having been born in Monroe, Indiana, between Berne and Decatur. The family moved to Darke County when she was 4.
“I never once thought of my age growing up,” she said. “There was too much to do.”
Thomas, who still cooks for herself at home, is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and attends the gathering of nurses the second Tuesday of each month at the Moose Lodge.
Senior citizens 60 and older were admitted to the fair for free on Monday.
She wasn’t sure what she was going to do with her winnings, but indicated she would like to get an Italian sausage.