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Former Salisbury resident celebrates 100 years

Mary Elizabeth Thiel celebrated her 100th birthday recently with her family.

Mary Thiel was born Nov. 18, 1917 on Vine Street in Bethlehem to parents Thomas Eddinger and Irene Paul. She was the eldest of four, including siblings Doris, Sara and Alvin.

Mary Thiel graduated from Liberty High School and went on to St. Luke’s School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1941. She married Paul Thiel and together they had two children – Margaret “Peggy” and Thomas “Tommy.” As a family, they lived on Delaware Avenue, Fountain Hill, before moving to New York Avenue, Salisbury Township in 1954. Thomas was in the second graduating class of Salisbury High School, graduating in 1966.

As a nurse, Mary Thiel worked in private duty at Grace Mansion, caring for Eugene Grace, president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Throughout her career, she worked at the Pennsylvania State Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network. After her retirement, she continued to volunteer at Holy Family Manor and Good Shepherd.

Mary Thiel is a lifelong member of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, where she volunteered with the Thrift Shop for many years.

She has four grandchildren; Matthew Risser, Lauri Johnson, Emily and James Thiel and four great-grandchildren; Jami and Liese Johnson and Noah and Quinn Risser. Until recently, Mary Thiel loved to read novels and biographies, make needlepoint crafts, knit and enjoy playing cards with friends and family.

She is a previous resident of DevonHouse Senior Living, Salisbury Township, and currently resides at Phoebe Home, Allentown.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOSMary Thiel's family gathers recently for a celebration marking her 100th birthday. Back row, from left, Andrew Kearney, of West Reading, Adam Dunnick, of Cranford, N.J., Coy Stampone, of Bethlehem; James Thiel, of Bethlehem; second last row, from left, Terri Schaffer, of Annapolis, Md., Tom Thiel, of Salisbury Township, Cathy Stampone, of Bethlehem; Matt Risser, of San Diego,