For her 102nd birthday party, the only food she wanted was cheese, crackers and a cold beer. On Thursday, Martha “Marty” Wetherby, a former elementary school music teacher, celebrated her birthday at The Pointe at Cedar Park, a senior living home where she currently resides.
The event, held at 2 p.m., began with a proclamation by Cedar Park Mayor Corbyn Van Arsdale. The proclamation honored Wetherby and detailed a short history of her life. For Van Arsdale, the proclamation is only the second he’s done since becoming mayor in 2018.
"It’s always an amazing accomplishment to live that long, so I always make an effort to come,” said Van Arsdale.
Afterward, about 16 kindergarteners from the Primrose School sang “Happy Birthday” to Wetherby. The children, who all wore animal masks, also sang "The Goldfish (Let's Go Swimming)" by The Laurie Berkner Band before they left.
It was announced during the party that Wetherby had received 150 birthday cards from locals who heard about her birthday and wanted to wish her well.
Before the half-chocolate and half-white birthday cake was served, Wetherby listened to opera music by Mario Lanza, an Italian tenor and actor from the late 1940s.
Other food items served at the party included deviled eggs and barbeque meatballs.
Wetherby, who has lived in Cedar Park for five years, was born on May 9, 1917. She originally hailed from Canada but had to move to Texas in 1922 because weather conditions in Canada worsened her father’s tuberculosis. Near the end of World War II, she worked with the War Department to secure jobs for returning soldiers.
In 1948, Wetherby worked as a music teacher of fourth through eighth grade children. Later in life she traveled around the world with Road Scholar, an educational travel tours nonprofit for older adults. The company, previously called Elderhostel, allowed Wetherby to travel to Egypt, Russia and Turkey.
“She’s 102 today, but she is the life of this community,” said Wendy Dorsey, executive director at The Pointe at Cedar Park.