Few among us will celebrate the magic of reaching the golden age of 100, but matriarch Susie Lewis has experienced that excitement, and the wonder of welcoming a new millennium. She will touch another milestone as she turns 108 on August 11.
Born in Helena, AR, Lewis’ parents moved the family to Chicago when she was a young girl. She raised her family on the city’s West Side, working various jobs to provide a stable home environment for her three children. Her determined spirit is a characteristic she says many of today’s youth lack. “Today’s young people don’t know what hard times really are,” she notes, adding, “and they don’t know the value of a dollar.”
A Maywood resident for more than half a century, she is the oldest living resident in the town.
Mrs. Lewis attributes her longevity to her strong work ethic and her Christian beliefs. The secret to a long life she says, is to “trust God.”
Lewis helped establish the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church on the West Side and served on the usher board there for many years. She joined the Garden of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church of Maywood in 1970 where she holds the title of the oldest member and Mother of the church.
The matriarch to six generations of family, Lewis is the sole survivor of her three siblings, and her three children.
“What a blessing to have lived to see so many generations!” exclaimed Reverend Michael Pearson, Sr. “To have seen Malcolm, Martin, Thurgood, Ali, Rosa, Fred Hampton, Oprah, and vote for Obama! To have seen the world change in a course of 100 plus years. To have served the Lord … to have loved Him and celebrated Him for so many years. God truly has blessed this mighty woman.”
Family and friends will celebrate her 108th birthday with Lewis on August 10 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Maywood Park District, 921 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood. Contact Stephanie @ (708) 248-0290 for additional information.