Hattie walks to 100

Published 9:32 pm Monday, February 24, 2014

With her sisters Lucille Grant, 81, Carrie Waver, 90, and Rosa Figgs, 79, Hattie Sue White, third from left, stands in front of the cake bearing her name during her 100th birthday party, held at East Suffolk Recreation Center on Saturday.

With her sisters Lucille Grant, 81, Carrie Waver, 90, and Rosa Figgs, 79, Hattie Sue White, third from left, stands in front of the cake bearing her name during her 100th birthday party, held at East Suffolk Recreation Center on Saturday.

Ada White lists several reasons why her aunt was able to reach a century in such good health, and the fact that Hattie Sue White has always relied on her two legs for transportation seems to be prominent among them.

Hattie Sue White, who celebrated her milestone with about 70 relatives and friends at East Suffolk Recreation Center on Saturday, has always been a walker, her niece said.

“I know a lot of people in Suffolk would know her as the ‘walking old lady,’” Ada White said, “because she would walk from Saratoga all the way to Autumn Care to see my aunt — at least four or five times a week — with my niece’s daughters.”

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Ada White, who looks after her, said her aunt, if you asked her, would add faith in God to the reasons for her longevity and good health. Plus, she never drank or smoked.

“Right now, her health is perfect,” said Ada White. “She takes pills for her blood pressure, but that’s all she takes. She can’t walk as good as she used to.”

Hattie Sue White, her niece reported, was born in Southampton County on Feb. 18, 1914 — about five months before World War I broke out.

She was the oldest of Charlie and Carrie Grant’s nine children, and all her sisters are still alive. The family came to Suffolk when Hattie Sue was about 5, moving into the Saratoga area.

Hattie Sue Grant married to the late Raymond White, her niece said, but they never had any children and she moved to New York as a young woman after the marriage ended.

There, Hattie Sue White spent the next 50 years, first working odd domestic jobs, which she had done in Virginia, then for a laundry for many years.

She retired and moved back to Suffolk in about 1972, and had been an active member of Lakeview Baptist Church in Saratoga until advanced old age.

“She is a very caring and loving person,” Ada White said. “She will do anything for you. She has taken care of many of her nieces and nephews. She has taken in a lot of relatives and taken care of them.”

Smartly attired Saturday in a black-and-gray houndstooth outfit and pearls, Hattie Sue White enjoyed the company and the buffet luncheon.

“I’m so proud and thankful,” the centenarian said. “I never walked into a better thing that made me feel as good as I feel now — except for going to church.”