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Leap year baby celebrates today: Halifax woman officially turns 19

Agnes Hackney is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and most uniquely a leap year baby.

Today is Hackney’s 19th birthday. Born on Feb. 29, 1936, she is actually 76 years old but will celebrate turning 19 years young today at her home in the Oak Level community.

Growing up a leap year baby wasn’t anything special, according to Hackney. “Nobody made it a big deal.”

Her parents, Herbert and Evelyn Throckmorton, tried to explain to her why her birthday wasn’t on the calendar but once every four years, but they didn’t know much more than she did, they just knew it was an odd year, she recalled.

“The kids all thought it was really neat when I was younger,” said Hackney.

Growing up Hackney never really celebrated her birthday with parties because she was always busy in the field or on her parent’s farm.

“We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love…we grew everything we could, and I worked hard all my life,” said Hackney.

But this year, she did celebrate her birthday with a party of sorts when her grandkids and family held a stew for her Saturday at her home.

“I never make a big deal out of it. I just get a few phone calls,” said Hackney.

Hackney, who according to family members, looks better now than she did when she was 40, enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

She used to sew and crochet, but she doesn’t do that as much these days.

Hackney, who is married to Frank, has five children by a previous marriage --Bobby, Jimmy, Brinda, Kenny and Vicki, 27 grandchildren and a great-grandchild. She said her family is her life.

“I feel young…doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. It’s impossible that I’m 76 years old,” said Hackney.

And she is not the only one in her family who shares a special birthdays. Hackney’s nephew, Ed Burton of South Boston was born on leap year when she was 16, actually 4. Her dad was born on Valentine’s Day. Her oldest son was born on July 4, and her oldest granddaughter was born on Pearl Harbor Day.

When asked how she felt to be turning 19 today, she said, “It’s just like being 18 except I’m another year older.”

Hackney joins other local residents also celebrating on this special day including new nephew Ed Burton, H. T. Waller, Tracy Staten Joyner, Heath Wilson, Frank Lacks Jr., Kendall Good, Avryl Taylor, Wilkie Fields, Dale Carpentier and Leon.