PITMAN, N.J. -- It was a surprise 100th birthday party for Marion Burrowes, made all the more special by her older sister, 101-year-old Jane Hirt, celebrating by her side.
"I wasn't expecting a party like this," said Burrowes.
Both sisters grew up in Collingswood, New Jersey. Born in 1922 and 1923 respectively, Hirt and Burrowes would both become teachers.
Though they had different interests as adults, they came together with their husbands every Sunday night to share cheese and crackers. They also enjoyed spending summers at the Jersey Shore, sailing boats and body surfing on the waves.
After losing their husbands, they would once again live under the same roof at United Methodist Communities at Pitman.
Burrowes enjoyed volunteering by singing in the choir, reading devotionals to fellow residents, and educating in the kitchen. However, a stroke caused her to leave many of those activities in the past.
The love these sisters share for each other, their faith, and their community did not go unnoticed by staff at their senior home.
And as the date approached where both sisters would become centenarians, a special party was in order.
"I don't think we've ever had two sisters here that made it that far," said Alice Coghill, a sales counselor who has known Burrowes for 18 years. "We've been kind of watching for the last couple of months to celebrate. We wanted to make it special."
As a result, Burrowes was wheeled into a surprise party fit with balloons, strawberry shortcake, and her 101-year-old sister, Hirt, celebrating by her side.
"I just thank the Lord for what he's done for us," said Hirt.
Watch our video above to see the special day unfold!
To learn more about United Methodist Communities at Pitman, visit their website.