Leila Norris’ 100th birthday celebrated with a proclamation and key to Russellville

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Leila Norris reads over a proclamation presented to her during a 100th birthday party in Russellville on Monday. (Carter Watkins/WHNT News 19)

RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – She and her husband brought the first soft serve ice cream shop to north Alabama. Monday, Leila Norris’ adopted home town in Franklin County celebrated her accomplishments and life for her 100th birthday.

“I couldn’t imagine so much publicity,” Mrs. Norris said afterwards.

With balloons, cake and a couple of dozen friends, Leila Norris got a birthday surprise she never imagined.

Turning a century old doesn’t happen every day. City leaders in Russellville wanted to make it special for Norris. So Mayor David Grissom made a mayoral proclamation for February 8th to be “Leila Norris Day” in the city.

“The City of Russellville has been mighty good to me too,” said Norris. “I thank all of you for everything you have done for me.”

Norris and her late husband Billy moved to Russellville from Texas in 1955, opening up “The King Frosty” and “Norris Printing Company”. For more than 40-years the family ran both businesses in downtown.

Mayor Grissom also presented Mrs. Norris with an honor no other resident has ever been given.

“I never dreamed of getting a key to the City of Russellville and this wonderful proclamation here,” explained Norris.

A special lady, humbled by a celebration she never knew was going on.

The King Frosty closed its doors in the 1980’s. Norris Printing Company stayed open until the early 2000’s.

The only other person to receive a key to the City of Russellville was Governor Robert Bentley.