Elmore celebrates 100 years of loving life

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

As hard as it was for anyone to believe, Susie Elmore celebrated her 100th birthday Thursday afternoon with family and friends at Noble Manor.

“Don’t we all wish we could live to be 100 and look like Miss Susie?” Dale Law asked.

“Miss Susie,” laughing, said she won’t actually be 100 years old until March 2, but she was celebrating early in order to be in Phenix City on Saturday for a big celebration there and to attend church on Sunday.

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State Rep. Wes Allen escorted the honoree into the dining area where friends and family were waiting to sing the birthday song and congratulate her. Allen read a proclamation from the Alabama House of Representatives congratulating Elmore. John Henderson, a nephew, read congratulations from Gov. Kay Ivey and brought wishes for health and happiness from Troy Mayor Jason A. Reeves.

Mrs. Elmore quickly said the greatest and most beneficial change she has seen in her 100 years is electricity. Running, perhaps, a close second is a flushing toilet.

There were 10 children in Mrs. Elmore’s family. Her family was poor she said, but they didn’t know it. Her mother was 13 and her dad was 17 when they married. Their first child was born two years later. The last child came when Mrs. Elmore’s mother was 40 – 25 years to have 10 children  – so Mrs. Elmore said she always enjoyed having family around and a lot of love.

Mrs. Elmore remembers how cold old houses were when the only heat was a wood-burning fireplace. She remembers milking cows and hauling clothes to the spring for washing.

“We hoed cotton and stacked peanuts,  picked cotton and shook peanuts. We had to sweep the yard and we had to sweep in a straight line, no curved marks in the dirt.”

The girls in the family helped with the housework and in the garden, with the picking of the peas and beans and the shelling.

It was a hard life but Mrs. Elmore said they didn’t know there was any other way.

She grew up in the Enon community and attended school in Brundidge. She met Julius Elmore, a young man from South Carolina, fell in love and married. They lived much of their married life in Phenix City. She worked at a bank for 20 years and with an elevator service for 10 years.

Mrs. Elmore said she is happy to be back home in Pike County and enjoys her family and friends and all the wonderful people at Noble Manor.

“I’ve had a good life,” she said. “We didn’t have any children so my husband and I spent all of our time together. I didn’t want to do anything else. I was just happy with us being together.”

Mrs. Elmore flew in an airplane one time and that was enough.

“The noise was so loud that it made my head hurt and I never wanted to fly in an airplane again,” she said. “I never did.”

Celebrating 100 years is an event that only a few get to enjoy and, even fewer, to enjoy it “so beautifully.”

Mrs. Elmore shared her “beauty secret.”

“I take care of my skin,” she said. “I never wash my face with soap. I use Pond Cleansing Cream.”