Manor resident celebrates 110 years of life

Published 6:09 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

By John Simpson


“I’m just hanging” is the response that one would expect a teenager would give when asked how they are doing. Emma Montgomery is almost a teenager, plus 100 years.

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She celebrated her 110th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“I’m just hanging,” Montgomery says with a smile, and when she looks you in the eyes you know that smile is genuine.

Those eyes have seen 110 years of history. Some good, some bad, and most of it we will never understand. By that age she’s forgotten more than we’ve ever learned, and she still responds to “how are you doing today” with a sense of humor.

“She loves conversation,” said Karrell Bush, one of the caretakers at Memorial Manor.

She gets lots of visitors according to the staff at Memorial Manor, and she loves to talk to them. Her nephew helps her out, but for the most part she can support herself.

The staff says she still eats by herself, three meals a day. She loves black-eyed peas, chicken, rice, biscuits, and corn bread. That exact meal has been prepared for her to celebrate her birthday.

If you’re surprised that she can crack a joke and eat on her own at 110, then you’ll be more surprised with the fact that she’s only been at Memorial Manor for four years. She arrived there from another facility, which she didn’t even start to live in until she was in her 90s. Until then she was an active member in her church choir at Mount Zuma Memorial Baptist Church, according to Calvin Davis, Emma’s grandson.

Sitting in her wheelchair by the Christmas tree, she sits up in her chair and smiles at the camera for her picture to be taken. After a couple of snaps from the camera Davis pulled her up in her chair.

“I’m glad you got here after I got dressed up.” Said Montgomery.

The room chuckled and everyone smiled. Maybe good humor is the secret to longevity for the rest of us; maybe it’s not the only secret, but Emma sure does have a good sense of it, and its worked for her.

“She gives the rest of us hope,” said Bush.

We all can learn a thing or two from Emma Montgomery, to sit down and talk to her would be a longer story for another time. Yet, until then, we’ll all just keep hanging until her next birthday.