Woman celebrates 102 years

Published 10:29 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A piece of chocolate cake with white frosting and the number 102 on top rested before an elderly lady hunched over in her wheelchair. Several birthday balloons were tied to the right wheelchair arm and a bouquet of flowers rested on the nightstand.

Wednesday marked Lillian Jones’ 102nd birthday. She celebrated the day with her only daughter, Judith, and the Kindred Healthcare staff.

Jones said the first thing she did was “prayed and thanked God.”

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“I didn’t expect all this attention,” Jones said with a chuckle. “God has kept his arms around me and protected me on His path to glory.”

Born on Sept. 7, 1914, the McCormick, S.C., native is the daughter of Rebecca and Cornelius Fisher and the youngest of 12 children. Jones is the only surviving member of that family.

Jones spent most of her life in Connecticut and New York. However, she and her daughter have spent the last four years in Suffolk.

“I don’t have to shovel snow anymore,” Jones said. “The people here are very friendly, and I’m close to my church family.”

Lillian and Judith Jones have been longtime members of the Temple Beth El church on Bridge Road.

The church has “taught me the truth about God,” Jones said.

Through the years, Jones has been known for being courteous and serving.

“She’s done good works,” Judith said.

“I’ve tried my best to help people and serve everybody,” Lillian said.

Jones has survived 16 presidents and has been alive since the early stages of World War I. Around the time of her birth, sonar technology, hair dryers, submachine guns and the television were invented.