When retired North Miami police Lt. Robert K, Mitchell wrote us about his friend Marilee Thurman, I thought it only fitting that we send out a hardy shout of good wishes and a happy belated birthday to her.
Thurman, you see, turned 100 on Dec. 9. She is the oldest person receiving a pension from the city of North Miami.
Mitchell tells us that Thurman's late husband was North Miami Police Chief Wayne Thurman.
"I got to know him after his retirement and became a friend to him and his wife Marilee. Over the years, Marilee has become more of a family member than a friend," Mitchell said.
Marilee Thurman was born Dec. 9, 1913 in Jonesville, Va., and graduated high school in Benham, Ky. That's where she met her high school sweetheart. She and Wayne were married June 1, 1934. Ten years later, in 1944, while her husband was in the U.S. Navy, Marilee moved to Miami.
"She spent her time going to the beach and playing tennis, before she decided to do something more beneficial," Mitchell said. " After two days of testing, she got a job at an Army base that was in the area at the time.
After his stint in the Navy, Wayne Thurman became a police officer, working his way up the ranks to become the Police Chief of North Miami for 15 years.
Over the years, Mitchell said, Marilee also worked for a plumbing company and Miami Dade Community College.
Mitchell said Thurman is still active in her church, as well as with many social events and activities and causes in the community.
I don't know about you, but I want to be just like Marilee Thurman when I grow up.
This is the time of the year when there is no shortage of great Christmas concerts to attend.
• At 6 p.m. today, St. Thomas Episcopal Church will present Vivaldi's Gloria. The Christmas masterpiece will be performed by the church choir with soloists Robyn Davis, soprano; Michelle Esteves, soprano; Marissa Simmons, mezzo soprano, and Matthew O'Brien, organist. Timothy M. Lester will direct the Chamber Orchestra.
Admission is free. St. Thomas is at 5690 N. Kendall Dr. For more information call 305-661-3436.
• The Christmas cantata, The Jesus Gift, will be performed by the Grace Lutheran Choir at 10 a.m. today in the sanctuary, 245 Curtiss Parkway in Miami Springs, and you are invited.
Kamilla Szklarska will direct the choir in this performance that was created and arranged by Tom Fettke and orchestrated by Russell Mauldin.
Following the free performance, guests are invited to join the congregation for the coffee hour. Call the church at 305-888-2871 for more information.
• Noted jazz singer Alice Day will join Christina Alexander in performing "A Joyful Noise" a jazzy gospel concert of holiday music at 6 p.m. Saturday at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 2001 NW 35th St. Special guest artists will include Miguel dela Cema, pianist.
The concert is presented by Revelation Community Educational Center, which is housed at Ebenezer.
Opa-locka celebrates renovated community center
The city of Opa-locka invited the community tothe grand opening celebration of the Helen Miller Center at Segal Park, at 10 a.m. Wednesday .
The program will include an instrumental jazz performance by Fernando Diez.
Segal park is at 2331 NW 143rd St. in Opa-locka. If you go, RSVP your spot by calling Lynnelle Mays at 786-338-6087.
Bishop Walter H. Richardson and the Bible Classes at The Church of God Tabernacle in Liberty cordially invites the community to the annual Christmas Pageant to be at 10 a.m. on Dec. 22 at the church, 1351 NW 67th St.
Led by head teacher Missionary Betty Richardson, the teachers and Bible class students have worked for months to present an enjoyable and spiritual event.
There is no admission charge for the pageant, but a freewill offering will be accepted.
New marketer joins theater
Nothing like a great new job to get you in the holiday spirit.
Mari Beth Bittan wrote to let us know, "... It is with great excitement that I would like to share with you that I have recently accepted a new professional opportunity as Director of communications and Marketing for the Miami Theater Center (formerly The Playground Theater)."
Bittan, who moved here six years ago, worked as a public relations consultant for several organizations, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, UM Frost School of Music, Superior Academy of Music and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
She started her new job on Dec. 2.