She was born in Jasper on January 18, 1921, and for the next five score and three years, the majority of her life would be dedicated to serving her community and country. A birthday celebration was held at the residence of Alice Lucille Griffeth McMullen at The Retreat at Jasper on her 103rd birthday. Dozens of relatives and friends turned out to celebrate and wish her well.
After graduating from Jasper High School as a member of the Class of ’40, Miss Lucille, as she is affectionately known, trained at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta to become a nurse. To this day, she is still very proud to have been certified by the State Board as a Registered Nurse. However, before she returned to her hometown to practice nursing, she felt her services were needed elsewhere because at that time, there was a war going on.
Miss Lucille joined the US Army during World War II where she would serve the duration treating sick, injured or wounded soldiers. After receiving basic training in Tuscaloosa, Ala., she worked at several stateside Veterans Administration Hospitals. Even after nearly eight decades, she is still proud of her service, for on her birthday she was asked if she was proud of her service as an Army nurse, to which she smiled broadly and replied, “Oh, yeah!”
Following her military service, she returned to her hometown to serve as a practicing nurse, and for quite some time, she worked at the old Roper Clinic in downtown Jasper. After its closing, Miss Lucille continued nursing for many years at a number of other hospitals. In the meantime, she also fell in love with and married Pierce “Mack” McMullen who was her partner in life until his passing in the mid 1980s.
In later years, she continued her service by joining the local American Legion Post 149 where she remained an active member until very recently. She was even honored a few years ago by serving as the Grand Marshal for the local Veteran’s Day parade.
Of course, persons who reach such a birthday milestone are always asked the inevitable question, “To what do you attribute such a long life?,” to which Miss Lucille responded, “Well, I worked as a nurse, so I knew how to live healthy. I stayed active,” and she added, “I also ate a lot of good, healthy hospital food.”
Perhaps, that is truly the secret recipe for a long and healthy life of service.