NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A very special birthday party was held in Brooklyn on Friday.
Susannah Mushatte Jones, a.k.a. Miss Susie, celebrated her 114th birthday six days late at the Vandalia Senior Center. Miss Susie is now believed to be the third oldest person in the world.
She was born July 6, 1899 in Alabama and is not only the oldest-known person in the state, she is also believed to be the third-oldest person in the world, WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reported.
“Her parents were sharecroppers, and she didn’t like to work in the field, so she was determined to get out of Alabama,” her oldest niece, 81-year-old Lavilla Mushatte Watson, said.
Miss Susie was married for about five years and never had any children of her own.
“Now you know those are wonderful professions — to be a wife or a husband, and also to be a mother — but they can drive you crazy, and that’s very stressful,” Watson said, adding that her aunt has more than 100 nieces and nephews.
Miss Susie is now blind and can no longer say much, but Watson said her aunt lived most of her life without going to doctors.
“She’s tough, but she knew that somehow if she exposed herself to all those medical procedures it’s going to kill her. She never had a mammogram, never had colonoscopy, like we have, never had none of that,” Watson said. “She eats well, sleeps well, didn’t party, never wore make up, never dyed her hair.”
Friends, family and politicians were in attendance for Miss Susie’s birthday party. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes sang her praises on Friday.
“Growing up at a time when women weren’t able to vote, when Jim Crow was a kind of Apartheid for this country,” he said.
Family members told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell that the secret to Miss Susie’s longevity has been her ability to ‘live without’.
“Well she has some secrets, she was only married for about five years and she never had children, they can drive you crazy. That’s very stressful,” Miss Susie’s niece Lavilla Mushatt Watson said.
“We all love her so much,” Watson said. “She’s a very generous, happy, God-loving woman.”
Miss Susie’s family hopes to celebrate her 115th birthday next year.
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