Martha SparksSociety Editor
June 9, 2013
A long-time local resident, Bertha Martin Carey of Holden, has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Born June 7, 1913, in Sprott, Ala., Carey moved with her family from Alabama at the age of three.
Carey and her husband, the late Wilber C. Carey Sr., are the parents of eight children: Joseph, June, Donna, Jean, Elbert, Albert, Malva and the late Henry F. Carey.
Carey was employed as a cook at the Club House in Holden for Island Creek Coal and Stores Company and retired as a domestic worker and a cook for the E. R. Chillag M.D. family.
Despite having worked while raising eight children, Carey only learned to drive at the age of 70. She enjoys singing and sewing, reading her bible, cooking and loves her family.
Carey has been inducted into the sports hail of fame at Aracoma High School where she was a cheerleader. She is a member of Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Holden, Daughter of Isis Lodge and the Federated Women’s Club of Logan, and a lifetime member of Weight Watchers of America. Carey is also a member of and a past president of the Martin Family Reunion, West Virginia Chapter.
The first United States President Carey remembers voting for was Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United State of America. She remembers the times of Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman very well. During those days, the family voted according to the company with which they were employed. Blacks weren’t allowed to vote until 1870 and black women not until 1920.
During the historic election of November 2008, Carey voted early and was given a ride to the court house to vote by the workers from President Obama’s Headquarters in West Virginia. The lines were very long but people were nice and considerate. She didn’t go into the voting booth but sat at a table and her daughter, Malva, marked the names as she told her which candidate.
Carey watched the 44th President of the United States, Barack H. Obama, take the oath of office at home.
“I never dreamed I would live to see a black in the office of the President of the United States of America,” Carey reportedly said at the time. “I will never forget that day.”
Carey remained in her home at Holden until she became ill and couldn’t stay by herself. She is now a resident of the Care and Rehabilitation Center in Dunbar. For anyone wishing to send Carey birthday wishes, her address is Bertha Carey, c/o Care and Rehabilitation Center, 501 Caldwell Lane, Dunbar, WV 25064.