Still going strong at 102 years

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2005

Josie Wilkins has been around since the Theodore Roosevelt administration-and she credits God for her longevity.

&uot;Ask God, because He’s the boss!&uot; Wilkins said at her 102nd birthday celebration Friday afternoon at Autumn Care Nursing Home. &uot;He’s been good to me. He helped me all the way , through sickness and everything. I am a Christian, and I still take communion and talk to Him.&uot;

The facility’s oldest resident, Wilkins was an usher at East End Baptist Church for more than 60 years. A mother of one, grandmother of one and great-grandmother of three, she’s a former employee of the Planters and Luminis factories.

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&uot;I picked peanuts and peas and worked in the candy kitchen, making candy,&uot; she said. &uot;I loved it, because it was easy.&uot;

Every month, the facility recognizes residents’ birthdays with a celebration.

&uot;We just want to let them know that they’re loved,&uot; said Activities Director Tameika Allen. &uot;A lot of times, their families don’t come to see them, and we want to let them know how special they are.&uot;

At age 100, Wilkins moved to Autumn Care in 2003. She still takes part in dance chair aerobics and entertains her fellow residents with her renditions of Christian songs.

As Wilkins sat next to her older sister, Julia Wilson, 90, who hopes to reach the century mark herself, she said, &uot;I hope I’ll be living long enough to serve God. He’ll bless me for as long as He lets me live!&uot;