Palace Gardens Resident Celebrates A Birthday Milestone

The Palace Gardens resident, Frances Layow, recently celebrated the milestone of her 100 th birthday with family and friends who came from near and far to be on hand to honor her.

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Activity director Frank Dunbar decorated The Palace’s theater in Frances’ favorite color scheme of pink and purple and the guest of honor was dressed to match and radiated her happiness with the attention that was lavished on her for her special day.

A New York native having been born in Brooklyn, Frances migrated to South Florida in 1941 with her husband and she spent her adult life in Miami. She was involved in the retail fashion industry as a buyer and worked until she was nearly 80 years old. She and her husband witnessed many of the changes that transpired in Miami through the decades.

Her daughter, Penny Spisak, shared that Frances came from a musical family and she and her siblings all were taught to play musical instruments. While growing up, Frances learned to play the saxophone, piano, organ and even bass fiddle. She played in an all-girl band in New York when she was just 15. Her father, Louie, performed with the famed Ted Lewis’ Big Band Orchestra which was one of the most popular bands in the 1920s as well as had his own band, the Eppy Louis Orchestra. Frances’ brother, Sonny, played the bass fiddled in many symphonies. Frances’ nephews and grandnephews share the family’s musical talents and currently perform in city symphony orchestras.

Frances had three children, Penny, Geoff who was a musician, and Cathy. Her son, Geoff, and daughter, Cathy, predeceased her. Penny lives not far from The Palace Homestead in Cutler Bay with Ed, her husband of almost 60 years. Frances also has a stepson, Harley. Frances’ family includes a clan of eight grandchildren and nine great-grands.

The Palace Homestead was thrilled to make this momentous occasion special for Frances and everyone who attended the celebration.