GREENFIELD — She’s picked out her outfit — a pink shirt and a patterned skirt with orange, pink, black and purple — and she’s ready to celebrate.

Carol Schinbeckler, a founding member of Bethel Baptist Church in Greenfield and a long-standing volunteer for the American Red Cross, turns 100 years old Saturday. Schinbeckler has spent 66 of those years in Hancock County. She is active and enjoys going shopping once a week at Goody’s department store in Greenfield, where many of the staff know her and enjoy helping her.

Assistant manager Emily Tidd said Schinbeckler has been a regular customer ever since the store opened.

“She’s very pleasant,” she said. “She knows what she wants, from lengths, styles, colors — she’s just a joy.”

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Tidd said it’s hard to believe she is going to be 100.

Schinbeckler was a charter member of Bethel Baptist Church, which recently celebrated 60 years of service.

The Rev. Randal Parker and the congregation honored her with a plaque and a program in December while celebrating the anniversary. The church now boasts more than 500 members, friend and fellow church member Pat Robinson said.

When the church was founded, it was attended by about 100 people, Schinbeckler said.

For more than two decades, she volunteered for the American Red Cross, managing the Christmas toy program and other outreach programs. Her supervisor was Myra Bleill, who often visits Carol.

She has a passion for designing and sewing toys and has donated many of her creations to organizations for children in need. In 1984 she won first place in a Design-A-Doll contest, which provided more than $1,000 for children at Christmas, Robinson said.

One of the recipients of Schinbeckler’s handmade doll clothes is coming from Boston for her birthday party and bringing the creations, Robinson said.

Schinbeckler was born Carol Ruth Chapman, Feb. 20, 1916, in Columbia City, where she lived with her parents, Earl and Nellie Chapman, six sisters and one brother on a large farm.

She graduated from high school in May 1934 and married her husband Fred Schinbeckler on April 20, 1935.

In 1950, the couple moved to Greenfield and built a house on Apple Street. In 1963, they built a second home on Sixth Street, and Carol Schinbeckler lives there still today.

The Schinbecklers often traveled, hitting every spot on the map in the United States except the Southwest, she said.

Outside her homeland, Canada was a particular favorite, especially for its produce and wildlife, she said — she remembers going in 1974, and all the Canadians wanted to talk about was Richard Nixon.

The Indiana Historical Society is celebrating Raggedy Anne’s 100th birthday this year, and Raggedy Anne will be on a cake at Carol’s birthday celebration, Robinson said.

Schinbeckler said she is thankful she is able to be independent and active.

“I’m not one to be pinned in,” she said. “I’m very grateful.”

Other events in 1916

Jan 17: The Professional Golfer Association forms in New York City

Jan. 29: The first bombing of Paris by German zeppelins takes place 

March 25: Women are allowed to attend a boxing match

April 24: Easter Rising of Irish Republicans against British occupation begins in Dublin 

April 30: Chicago Cubs play first game at Wrigley Field 

June 15: Boy Scouts of America forms 

July 15: The Boeing company is formed in Seattle 

Sept. 1: Child labor is banned from interstate labor with the Keating-Owen Act

Sept. 29: John D. Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire

Oct. 7: The German submarine U-53 arrives off Newport, Rhode Island, and sinks 9 British merchant ships in international waters

Nov. 7: Woodrow Wilson is elected president 

Nov. 28: First German air attack on London 


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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or