Reston, VA

Despite social distancing measures, the Herndon community still came together yesterday (April 13) to celebrate the 90th birthday of local resident Muriel Turner.

A neighborhood resident since 1986, Turner is beloved by many of her neighbors who threw an event so people could celebrate her while still staying safe. Not only did they decorate her house and put a large celebratory sign in her yard, but the neighbors also coordinated a walk-by so people could wave and say hello, according to a press release.

Turner is a nationally renowned flower designer and also a spritely woman who refuses to stop helping her community, according to Paul Sullivan, one of the neighbors in charge of coordinating the celebration.

“I like to call her a renaissance woman. She is interested in a plethora of things,” Sullivan said, adding that while not in self-isolation, she can often be found swimming laps at the local community center, volunteering at Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church, feeding the homeless and serving as an officer in her garden club.

“Her neighbors on Lake Shore Drive in Herndon wanted to make sure that despite COVID-19, this milestone birthday was celebrated in style,” a Hunter Mill District spokesperson said.

Throughout the day, Turner had visitors “almost non-stop,” according to Sullivan, who added that many people left gifts and cards for her. “She was on the phone or answering her door from 8:30 a.m. on,” he said.

Over the course of the day, Sullivan said he was pleased with the outcome of the event and added that more than 100 people, including Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn, came to share well-wishes for Turner’s big day.

Around 11 p.m. Sullivan received a call from Turner, which he said frightened him because she is usually in bed by that time. Luckily, it turns out that she was simply thrilled to see herself on TV after a local news station ran a feature on her, and she felt the need to share her joy with Sullivan.

“We would all live a great life if we mirrored how she lives hers,” Sullivan said.

Photo courtesy Walter Alcorn Staff

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