Mohawk resident James Willis "Spud" Ailshie marked his 100th birthday on March 8.
To honor this remarkable milestone in this equally remarkable man's life, a multitude of Ailshie's family and friends gathered Sunday afternoon at Fairview Baptist Church, in Mohawk.
Just before blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, Ailshie was asked how it felt to be 100 years old.
"Well, I can't rightly answer that question today," Ailshie said. "I was 100 last week. I'm working on 200 now."
The top political leadership in the State of Tennessee, including Gov. Bill Haslam, joined in signing a proclamation that offically declared Ailshie, who is known far and wide as the long-time proprietor of Spud's Store, at Mohawk, to be 100 years old.
The proclamation was delivered by State Sen. Steve Southerland, during Ailshie's birthday celebration on Sunday.
Ailshie's wife, Dussie Rader Ailshie, passed away in 2010, just prior to the couple's 80th wedding anniversary.
The couple have six children: Billie Jo Hazelwood, of Morristown; George Ailshie, of the Point Pleasant community in Cocke County; Lyle Harry Ailshie, of Morristown; the Rev. Glen Ailshie, of Marion, S.C., Launa Lyle, of Jefferson City, and Scotty Ailshie, of Morristown.
Ailshie also has 16 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
In the days leading up to his birthday celebration, Ailshie said that his kids were "going to have a little gathering of some kind up at the church."
That "little gathering" actually turned into a rather large crowd of about 350 well-wishers who showed up to signal their love and admiration to "Spud," who was active in educational and agricultural circles for many years in western Greene County.
Ailshie served on the Greene County Board of Education from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Greeneville Sun columnist Bob Hurley contributed to this report.