Thursday was a special day in Delaware — lifelong resident Charlotte Gallant turned 100 years old.
Gallant celebrated her centennial at her Willow Brook residence across from the Bob Evans; and later that day, was honored publicly at a park that bears her name.
Gallant briefly thanked staff at Preservation Parks at Gallant Woods Park, 2151 Buttermilk Hill Road in Delaware, for transforming her initial donation of 83 acres into a 231-acre park with meadows, prairies, wetlands, woods, a sledding hill and shelter.
She made the comments prior to a concert at that shelter, where chocolate and vanilla birthday cupcakes were served to the audience. Visitors also signed a poster with their well-wishes and “Happy Birthday” was sung to her.
“We have an incredible birthday,” said Saundra McBrearty of Preservation Parks by way of introduction. “Charlotte Gallant was born in 1917, and she is an extra special park visitor, because she is the Gallant that donated much of the land we are sitting on today at Gallant Woods. She donated it 20 years ago, before we had any levy support. She saw potential in Preservation Parks.”
Julia Lanier, a friend of Gallant’s, writes that Charlotte is a “lovely lady” and “very interesting and never married, a librarian at (the former) Carnegie Library.”
“We are especially delighted to be a part of the celebration of Charlotte’s birthday,” said Teri Ryan of Willow Brook. “She has been at Willow Brook, living among us for more than 10 years now, and has always been a quiet, strong force within our community. We are so proud to be here, and to thank her for what she has done for the Delaware community, and for Willow Brook, too. We are so proud of you, Charlotte, and thank you so much.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.