Heath’s oldest resident, 94, honored
HEATH — Long-time resident Dorothy “Dottie” Sessions, 94, was celebrated at a surprise reception of about 80 community members, friends and family when she was presented with the town’s bicentennial cane. Before becoming the town’s oldest resident, Sessions spent 19 years on the town’s Council on Aging, from 1992 to 2013. Also, when the town began its senior luncheon program in 1998, she began her tenure as luncheon receptionist — a position she held until her retirement last year.
At the event, selectmen presented Sessions with a certificate of achievement, and Town Clerk Hilma Sumner gave her the town’s bicentennial cane, which is Heath’s version of the Boston Post gold-headed cane, which is traditionally given to the town’s oldest resident.
According to Sumner, Heath’s cane was made by Earl Warriner in 1985 and presented as a gift to Grace Landstrom, who was then Heath’s oldest resident.
Grace’s three daughters, including Ruth Johnson of Heath, gave the cane back to the town, to continue the tradition of recognizing the town’s oldest resident. The cane was carved from local wood, and a coin from Heath’s bicentennial year was attached to the handle, Sumner said.
Sessions is currently staying at the Buckley Healthcare Center in Greenfield.