A Centennial Celebration to Honor Jo Champney

State Rep Ken Gordon and Jo Champney, with her children, neighbors, and members of the Bedford Garden Club


Jo Champney

Jo Champney turned 100 on Friday with friends, neighbors, and members of the Bedford Garden Club gathered on her front lawn to watch State Representative Ken Gordon deliver a proclamation from the Massachusetts House, and another from the Massachusetts Senate. In the Senate commendation, State Senator Mike Barrett noted Champney’s long service to the Job Lane House where she planted the Dutton Herb Garden in 1978.

After the ceremony, Champney was spirited off to the Job Lane House. Friends, garden club members, and Champney’s herb garden helpers blocked the barn’s open doors, stepping away to reveal the teak bench that has been donated in Champney’s name to mark her centenary.  Three dozen donors funded the bench.

Enjoying her centennial bench, Jo Champney with her daughter Margaret and son George.


When George Champney noted that he and his mother share the April 30 birthdate, his mother replied with a twinkle in her voice, “When George was small it was his birthday, now that I’m 100 it’s mine!”

The final event was a celebratory lunch with good friends gathered around the biggest table in the dining room at the Great Wall.

Happy 100, Jo ~ a centennial birthday card, crafted by Clare Higson


  1. We loved seeing you 3 years ago Aunt Jo when we visited Bedford. So many fond summer memories were made when I was young at Gramma Champney’s (Cora and George) 1 the Great Road home and your house when I stayed with cousin Maggie (Margaret). You have contributed to Bedford and I know many appreciate and love you for your garden work.
    HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY with love sent your way!
    Janet Champney Jones (Lynchburg, Va)

  2. I am SO proud of my “Aunt Jo!” She looks exactly like she did the last time I visited Bedford….that is, at least 20 years younger than her age. Thanks to ALL who made her 100th birthday as special as JO.
    Gardening keeps one healthy & active while a giving heart and love of (and from) family & friends = the “secrets” to a long life!
    Happy Birthday dear Aunt Jo!!

  3. Thank you – It was a great celebration. I opened the main barn doors, and we took the 5 foot teak bench outside, and Jo’s son, George, had the foresight to have us hide the bench by all standing in front. When Dorothy Africa said, here’s the guest of honor, we separated, and there was the bench with a Happy Birthday Jo sign on it. Jo thanked us, but she asked if she could take it home. No no. It will be near the apple tree for some shade, looking towards the herb garden that Jo planted in 1978, and cared for with the Garden Club until 2 years ago. She is now our Advisor and continues to spread her immense knowledge of the herbs and flowers.

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