Arthur Cullifer recently attended a reunion for New Hope School, a Holmes County campus that closed in 1963. He is 101 years old. [CONTRIBUTED]

Special to the Advertiser

One of those being greeted at the recent New Hope School reunion heard the question, “How old are you now Arthur?” 

The remark following the answer was invariably, “You look about maybe 70 to me.”

Arthur Cullifer has been a centenarian for more than a year. He’s now 101. 

“Arthur’s been here awhile,” Posie Vaughan said. 

The north Holmes County school closed in 1963 but the gathering in the Fellowship Hall of New Hope Baptist Church this year numbered more than 50 people.

Cullifer was born in 1923 in Columbus, GA, and lived in New Hope with his grandparents. He went to school in the “old” school building beside New Hope Church before students moved into the “new” building in 1938. 

His grandparents, Lula and John Lowery, lived just up the Geneva-Westville Road, between the Charley Howell and Bud Owens farms. They bought the land from the John Dancy family, which lived on the east side of the road.

“I joined up for World War II in 1941 when I was 18,” Cullifer said. “They tried to kill me all over Europe. I was in combat in the 1st Infantry Division. We landed on D-Day, were in the Battle of the Bulge, fought Rommel, the Desert Fox, in Italy.”

Cullifer married Agnes Boswell from Geneva. 

“I had two boys and a girl,” he said. “My daughter Elizabeth and her husband Gary Weging came with me. I’ve got four grandchildren.”

“I’m the oldest Cullifer at 101,” he added. 

He now lives in St. Augustine and looked forward to the New Hope School Reunion, held the last Saturday in May. 

“See y’all next year,” Cullifer said. 

Cecil Motley, enthusiastic promoter of the reunion, couldn’t make it but was represented by his daughter Becky. 

“We missed Cecil and many others,” Vaughan said.

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