Area Artist Celebrates 95th Birthday

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Ashton Rowan "Jean" Critzer

Friends and family members gathered August 22 at the Church of the Blue Ridge in Afton to celebrate the 95th birthday of local artist Ashton Rowan “Jean” Critzer.

Critzer is recovering from a fall in her family home, known as “Iverson,” but was excited and delighted by the many friends, nearly 100, who came to her party.

A “welcome” and birthday recognition by pastor Whitney Critzer started the party, and cake and homemade ice cream were then served. After the traditional singing of “Happy Birthday,” those attending participated in an old-fashioned hymn sing. The tables were decorated with flowers donated by Critzer’s 98-year-old sister “Ruth,” who was unable to attend. Critzer said she enjoyed seeing so many dear friends and sharing memories with them.

Critzer still enjoys her artwork and spending time with a sketch pad and charcoal. Born in the Raphine area on August 14, 1914, Critzer moved to Afton and the family home of her husband, Shield Critzer, following the end of the war in 1945.