As the saying goes, “with age comes wisdom”—this timeless adage provides perspective for those who live to tell the tale, and for those who are lucky to hear it. For one lady from Georgia, her secret to longevity is simple—love people, treat people right, and have faith in God.
At the tender age of 111, supercentenarian Willie Mae Hardy has more than a century of experiences under her belt as she celebrates her birthday on March 11.
111 YEARS YOUNG! Willie Mae Hardy is famous in her family for her Sunday dinners and has gone to the same church for 72 years. Join us in wishing her a very happy birthday!. 🎉🎉MORE: https://bit.ly/2ChaepH
Dubbed the “Royal Gold Queen Mother,” Hardy has lived a life fulfilling familial responsibilities as well as being an active church member.
With at least 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 30 great-great grandchildren and 4 great-great-great grandchildren, this humble lady shared her wisdom to living a long and happy life.
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) March 10, 2019
“Love everybody, treat people right,” she told 11Alive.com. Hardy also attributed her longevity to her faith in God and “trusting the master.”
Hardy is one of approximately 300–450 living supercentenarians around the world; supercentenarians are people who have lived past their 110th birthday.
Born on March 11, 1908, in Junction City, Georgia, Hardy is the daughter of a slave and grew up on a farm and in the cotton fields.
As was common back in the days, Hardy stopped attending school from the 3rd grade and stayed home to help her mother raise her young siblings. She took on the family responsibilities when younger and continued thereafter.
Mrs. Willie Mae Hardy is 110 years young! 🎉 We’re celebrating this beautiful matriarch and the wisdom she’s already passed down through 5 generations: People 2 People Sun 12:30p 💜 pic.twitter.com/hEIcNYQi7G
— WSB Community (@WSBTVcommunity) March 16, 2018
According to I am Decatur, Hardy recalled life on the farm as being hard. Her days were spent doing chores such as plowing the fields, picking cotton, caring for the hogs and chickens, and tending the garden. She taught herself to read and write despite her limited education.
In 1925, she gave birth to her only child, Cassie Neil; she then moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1939, where she met her husband, Frank Harvey.
In 1966, following the death of her son-in-law to cancer, Hardy moved from downtown Atlanta to the suburbs of Decatur to help raise her seven grandchildren. She then worked as a housekeeper for 60 years before retiring in the 1980s. Hardy did all this while working a full-time job as a housekeeper for various families.
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During this time, she was an active church member, where she also served as treasurer, secretary of the Motherboard, president of the Willing Workers, and was a Missionary board member. She was also a weekly cook in the church kitchen for a couple of years.
According to a family statement, Hardy “remained a faithful member for over 71 years, and currently is the oldest member of her church.
“Regardless of her age, she remains to be a loving and caring grandmother, our “family backbone,” a dedicated Church member and dear friend,” the statement added.
Due to her age, Hardy cannot attend to her passions as she once did, such as going for walks, working in her yard, gardening, cooking, feeding bread crumbs to the birds, making preserves, and taking care of her porch plants.
Hardy enjoys watching TV shows such as “Meet the Browns & House of Payne,” and “Andy Griffith.” Her favorite movie of all time is “The Help.” She also enjoys listening to gospel music and watching inspirational shows.
As a much-loved family and community member, Hardy is an inspiration to many! Her age and wisdom are a testament to the important things she values in life, and we wish her all the very best on her 111th birthday!
Watch the video below: