Pasco woman celebrates 101st birthday with cake

It was 1910. Halley's Comet streaked by the earth, Glacier National Park in Montana was created by an act of Congress, and an Army medic introduced the use of tincture of iodine as a wound disinfectant.

Antibiotics and Band Aids didn't exist, more than half the bread eaten in the U.S. was still baked at home, and Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series.

And Meta Thom, of Pasco, was born.

Thom, who lives with her daughter Rosemary and son-in-law Leonard Klug of Pasco, celebrated her 101st birthday Wednesday with a cake.

"It was one she didn't have to bake," joked her son, John Thom of San Antonio, Texas. His mother worked for years in the bakery department at the Pasco Albertsons.

Thom was born in Eseburg, Denmark, and came to the U.S. when she was 13, joining her parents who were living in Monticello, Iowa. Later, she and her husband, Delbert Edward Thom, and their six children, moved from Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Walla Walla around 1957.

"He found a job at Hanford and commuted from Walla Walla every day," her son said.

The family later moved to Burbank and then to Prescott. After Delbert Thom died in 1994, Meta moved to Pasco to live with the Klugs.

Meta and Delbert Thom's other children are Beverly Johns of Long Creek, Ore., Donna May Murphy of Granite Falls and Marie Marks of Walla Walla. Another daughter, Dorothy Kiel, is dead.

Sharon Ferrians of Kennewick, a classmate of Rosemary Klug's in Burbank, remembers a younger Meta Thom as "being so full of life. All the neighborhood kids liked her."

She's slowed down over the years, said her son John, but he credited her "good, strong Danish stock" with keeping her going into her 10th decade.