Church presents birthday wishes twofold


CHESTER TOWNSHIP — Members of Sharon United Methodist Church stayed after service Sunday to mark the occasions of dual Monday birthdays for two of their own, Neal Borton’s 60th and Helen Eakins’ 100th.

They both were presented individual cakes and attendees enjoyed a fresh finger foods lunch including cupcakes with colorful icing, but the best parts of the celebration probably were the verbal tributes.

After working three decades at General Motors in Dayton, Eakins took up horseshoe pitching and did extraordinarily well. In 1997 she was inducted into the Ohio State Buckeye Horseshoe Pitching Hall of Fame.

This lady horseshoe champion plus factory employee — she later worked at Irwin Auger Bit in Wilmington, too — has a versatile skill set: She also has written two booklets of poetry and belongs to a writers club.

At 100, she’s been around long enough to recall when Route 73 in Clinton County wasn’t paved.

She went to Kingman Schools in Clinton County for all 12 years. When she started first grade, there were no school buses there and a Model T Ford operated by a lady transported her and other children to school.

According to Barbara Bay, her husband John Bay counted 80-some awards for horseshoe pitching in Eakins’ living room, and Eakins advised there were more elsewhere.

She has a sense of humor, as well as good aim. In a News Journal sports column by Tony Lamke five years ago, Eakins described Cornhole as “a lazy man’s horseshoes.”

Several members of the Borton family gave remarks about Neal. One young woman recalled how Neal, his wheelchair and herself who was pushing took a three-part spill in Special Olympics with no serious injuries, except perhaps to pride. The Bortons, the audience was informed, are competitive people.

Neal always reminds folks to wear their seat belts and socks, said sister Jill Hartley. He is very attentive when spoken to — it seems like he remembers everything.

Neal is caring toward his family, and regularly asks them what their plans for the day are.

Things he loves: flea markets, McDonald’s pancakes, the game of Aggravation, airplane and helicopter rides, the Corn Festival and county fair, and talking with the farmers at those agricultural-themed events.

“He makes friends wherever he goes,” Hartley said.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

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Seated are Helen Eakins and Neal Borton — the birthday girl and birthday boy at Sharon United Methodist Church on Sunday — who each are presented a cake in celebration of their 100th and 60th birthdays, respectively, coming up Monday. Delivering the birthday cakes from left are Alex Vaughan and Priscilla Vaughan.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_birthdays_p_f-1.jpgSeated are Helen Eakins and Neal Borton — the birthday girl and birthday boy at Sharon United Methodist Church on Sunday — who each are presented a cake in celebration of their 100th and 60th birthdays, respectively, coming up Monday. Delivering the birthday cakes from left are Alex Vaughan and Priscilla Vaughan. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Helen Eakins holds her birthday cake Sunday with three candles bearing the numerals 1-0-0. She turned 100 on Monday.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_Eakins_p_f.jpgHelen Eakins holds her birthday cake Sunday with three candles bearing the numerals 1-0-0. She turned 100 on Monday. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Neal Borton was recognized for his 60th birthday at the Sharon United Methodist Church on Sunday.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_borton_p_2_f.jpgNeal Borton was recognized for his 60th birthday at the Sharon United Methodist Church on Sunday. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal