On Wednesday, Catherine Blue celebrated a century of life, love and good health.
Having turned 100 on Oct. 9, the Lyells Corner resident and Tidewater native is still active and independent, having dedicated her livelihood to her family and church.
Catherine moved to Haynesville with her mother, then married Carol’s grandfather and moved from Drinking Swamp Road to Rich Neck Road. She now lives in Lyells with her granddaughter, Carol Blue, and Carol’s son.
According to Carol, when Catherine was young, she would walk from her house to Lyells Chapel Baptist Church and to different houses in the neighborhood during the week where they held prayer meetings.
Carol said her grandmother would also tell them stories when they were children about “the horse and buggy days” and how she used to walk and sometimes ride a buggy from Tidewater to Mulberry Church.
“She said it was just different from years back then until now and that you could see the changes,” said Carol. “She said everybody was so loving, and they would help each other. She said the work was hard, but they didn’t mind it.”
Carol said Catherine and her family would help her father on the farm. When she moved to Haynesville, she did mostly housework while also working at the Warsaw Elementary School for a few months.
Carol and Sandy Long, who is also granddaughter to Catherine, both attested to their grandmother’s passion for cooking and making sure everyone had something to eat.
“When she was cooking, before she went to church her food was ready, so when we’d come back, all we had to do was eat,” said Carol, adding with a laugh that she is still the boss of a kitchen, making sure everyone is getting the food ready on time.
Carol said Catherine is adamant that all of her children and grandchildren go to church and stay in church.
“That’s her favorite thing,” said Carol, who added that her family always holds get-togethers at her grandmother’s house.
“When we were in Haynesville, we all gathered down there under the Maple tree and we sat there eating all night,” said Carol.
Carol said they do not have to help their grandmother much because she is mainly independent. Catherine makes her own bed and, with her walker in hand, walks everyday from the kitchen to her bed and back.
Apart from arthritis and high blood pressure, Carol said her grandmother is just fine.
As to how she stays healthy, Catherine said it is God and living right, according to Carol.
“She’s had heart surgery and stints in her heart, she’s had a knee replacement and she’s still rolling,” said Carol. “We call her the Energizer Bunny.”
Carol said Catherine has received letters from President Barack Obama, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-4th) and Warsaw Mayor Mark Milstead wishing her a happy birthday.
Catherine has seven children, three living. In addition, she has 11 grandchildren with nine living, 19 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren. Her family will hold a cookout over the weekend in celebration of her 100th birthday.
“We are truly blessed,” said Carol. “We’re so happy we don’t know what to do!”