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Local resident shares on Berne Davis' 100th birthday and 'the arts' (Photos)

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On March 17, 2014, Fort Myers, Fla. local resident Betty Jane Keene shared about a special birthday celebration for a very special lady, Berne Davis. Davis celebrated her 100th birthday over the weekend at none other than the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers.

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Keene, 90, is a former dancer and one who still appreciates "the arts." She also remembers when art, music and theater became even more supported in Fort Myers and agrees that Berne Davis was, and is, one of the reasons why!

Like Keene, Davis not only enjoyed (still enjoys) the arts, but she also came to enjoy "all things" related to flower gardens. Her botanical interest was inspired by Thomas Edison's wife, Mina. As a result, Davis became involved in various garden clubs even years after Mina Edison's death (in 1947).

This long time local resident said that she is not a personal friend of Berne Davis, however she remembers Davis and her love for the arts.

Betty Jane, so you appreciate the arts?

"Yes, and I have followed many of the arts' events that have been held in Fort Myers, especially at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center."

Were you at the birthday party?

"No, I learned about the party mostly by reading about it. I was so happy to hear that Berne Davis just celebrated her 100th. In less than a decade I hope to be a centenarian myself, and I also hope to continue to be as active as Berne."

Are you from Fort Myers?

"No, I'm from upstate New York, but I've lived in Florida over half a century and most of that time has been in Fort Myers. My husband, Ellis L. Keene, was born and raised here. He was a policeman and knew, or knew of, almost 'everyone,' including the Davis family.

Ellis grew up near the Edisons and Fords. He would tell stories about his childhood playing in the yards of the famous inventor and the founder of the Ford Motor Company."

Do you have anything else to share about Berne Davis?

"I'd like to say happy birthday, and thank you Berne Davis for your support in the arts. I'd say all artists, musicians, horticulturists and thespians would thank her (the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center) as well!"

To learn more about Berne Davis, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and the Edison & Ford Winter Estates go to perspective links. Enjoy video on Berne Davis and one above on "French Garden Art."

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