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Judy Moss celebrates 97th birthday with friends, family

Judy Moss prepares to blow out her birthday cake candles during her 97th birthday party. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Kendal Groner)

By Kendal Groner

At 97-years-old, Judy Moss is still as sharp as ever.

“Seventy-six, just flip that number around and that’s how old I am,” she said. “I can spell too you know.”

She had the entire room erupting in laughter as she celebrated her birthday with her nieces, nephews and close friends on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Moss, an Erwin native, is a talented baker, jewelry and lotion maker, sewing instructor and even ran a successful floral shop for many years.

“She had the most wonderful flower shop there ever was, it was called Moss’s flower shop,” said Bucky Farnor, a close friend. “She delivered flowers on Easter by means of an ‘Easter bunny’… she would have all of these children waiting on this Easter bunny.”

Farnor said she also taught him how to become a florist, leading to a successful career of his own.

“I love you more than butter!” he told Moss.

Moss quickly replied, “It better not just be the kind you spread on there, it’s gotta be the country butter.”

Aside from her successful career as a florist, Moss was also a community activist, part of the United States Bicentennial in 1976 and on the Tennessee Homecoming in 1986.

Always the social butterfly, Moss organized ‘The Get Acquainted Club’, a social club for women, about 60 years ago.

“It was just a bunch of women that got together once a month, and everyone brought a covered dish or planned a party,” said Betty Peterson, a longtime friend to Moss. “We had a lot of good times.”

Moss hasn’t let her age slow her down a bit. In fact, just a few years ago she hopped on a Harley Davidson while she was staying at Governor’s Bend Retirement and Assisted Living. She also recently sat front row at an Elton John concert where he signed a T-shirt and gave it to her.

One of her friends said they had heard that she got out of her seat and started dancing in the isle.

“I guess I was dancing in a sort of kind of way,” Moss said, laughing.

Although Moss has done a lot over the years, she says her greatest accomplishment was getting Dick Moss, her late husband to whom she was married almost 70 years.

“We would’ve been married longer, but he didn’t ask me soon enough,” Moss joked. “Don’t marry anyone until you find out all about them, and then once you do that just go ahead and forget about the whole thing.”

As Moss and her friends and family continued to reminisce on old times, she was asked if she remembered an Elvis impersonator coming to a party that was hosted by one of her friends.

“What?” Moss asked. “I swear I thought that was the real one.”

She says that she’s had a wild life, and she’s still living it.