Walkerton woman turning 105, still plays church piano

NORTH LIBERTY, Ind. (WNDU) --- The lay of the land for the monthly Friends and Family Luncheon at Pine Creek Church in North Liberty includes home cooking and farm-fresh produce along with entertainment.

On Tuesday, the main act ate last. She was kind of raised that way.

“I gave my heart to the Lord years ago at a Sunday school class meeting. Four of us gave our hearts to the Lord then,” Gladys Sheneman stated. “He’s been with me all the way.”

Close to a century later, the faith-filled Sheneman is proclaiming the same love on the ivories as she entertained everyone for her 105th birthday, which church members celebrated at the luncheon.

"She just goes through life in a breeze, you know?" Norma Patrick said, describing her easygoing mother.

Patrick said her mom has Alzheimer's and is nearly blind due to macular degeneration. Nevertheless, she has played the piano by ear her entire life. But her knack for entertaining might only be superseded by the love she shows others.

"If you ever talk to Gladys, you will feel it right away that she will love you also, and that's the way all of us church members are supposed to be," said Terry Heckman, a Pine Creek Church trustee.

Indiana Rep. Ross Deal, D-Mishawaka, stopped by the Tuesday party and gave her a pin, informing her she is now an honorary member of the Indiana House.

Gladys' actual birthday is July 13. She lives in a nursing home in Walkerton.