Published 8:36 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2015
There weren’t 100 candles on the birthday cake, but it was a grand celebration nonetheless on Saturday for Rosa Williams, a Suffolk native who joins the centenarian club officially on Aug. 6.
“I’m blessed,” said Williams, surveying the party from her seat of honor at the Suffolk Elks Lodge on West Constance Road.
More than 100 family and friends were in attendance, said Williams’ niece, Darlene Saunders-Banks. They enjoyed dinner and a cake, sans the 100 individual candles.
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“We didn’t want to start a fire,” Saunders-Banks joked.
Rosa Williams was born in a house on Pitchkettle Road to Mary Lou and James Robert Wilkins. She was the oldest but has outlived all six of her siblings, Saunders-Banks said. The youngest just died last year.
She married Clarence Williams, affectionately called “Snook,” and the couple had one child, Theresa “Reese” Harrell, who died in 1989, Saunders-Banks said, without giving Williams any grandchildren.
Asked the secret to her longevity, Williams said only that it was “the Lord’s work.”
“She’s just blessed,” Saunders-Banks said. “It’s not like she was a person who exercised a lot. There were no particular regimens.”
After moving away from the Boston community into nearby Williamstown, Williams moved back into the house where she was raised in the 1960s, Saunders-Banks said. She recently moved into the house next door, because her house is deteriorating.