Ethel Hortense "Butch" Bingham recently celebrated her 90th birthday with family at home in North Coventry and at the Shady Maple "Hawaiian Luau" Smorgasbord. Celebrants came from Delaware, New York, Missouri, Washington state and Douglassville to help blow out her candles. Weekend treats and the birthday cake, itself, came from the St. Peters Village Bakery. Mrs. Bingham attributes her robust longevity to good fortune and daily walks. At ninety, she still paces a mile a day in North Coventry sunshine or at Coventry Mall. If for no other reason than the sight of the orange bucket hat she wears, she is well recognized in her neighborhood.
Ethel's mother, Eva Wright Meador, was snowbound in Hardy, Virginia the night she was breach birthed. Mother lived to be 99.
Hardy is the seat of Franklin County, VA, white lightening capital of the world. "Butch" is a tea-totaller.
She served with the FBI during World War II and married a United States Marine whose father also had served in the Corps. "Butch" and her late husband, the Rev. Walter L. Bingham, Jr., had three children. Their eldest, Walter L. Bingham, III, also of North Coventry, retired from the Marine Corps in 1991.
Third child, Cathy Miller, and Cathy's husband Jim live in Maryville, TN.
"Butch" has four grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.