Local woman celebrates 113th birthday
by Martha Sparks
The family of Adell Adams of Stirrat gathered at the Omar Community Center to celebrate her 113th birthday on April 6. According to family history and a Bible, it is estimated that Adell was born April 8, 1900, in Gordo, Ala.
At the age of 113, Adell walks with the aid of a cane, does lots of crocheting, especially afghans, quilts and is looking forward to planting her family garden this summer.
“She loves gardening,” said her daughter Theresia Shaw of Arlington, Texas. “She lives to garden and she loves the Lord. They sent me a picture of her huge watermelon last year. She was sitting on her little stool that she carries out in the garden to do her weeding and looking at her watermelon.”
Through the winter months, Adell stays with one of her children, but each spring, the family brings her back to Stirrat for the summer so she can plant her garden.
“What do I do best? Farm,” said Adell.
Adell’s parents, Ross and Mary Spencer Hicks, were sharecroppers in Alabama. Their survival depended on farming. Adell learned early in life how to plow and tend a garden to provide for a family.
“I grow corn, peas, bean, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, greens… anything you want,” said Adell. She said her favorite vegetable to grow is collard greens.
The accomplishments in her long life that Adell is proudest of is her family, her gardening and voting for Barack Obama in 2008.
“She went down to the firestation at Omar and voted for Obama,” said her granddaughter, Lorraine Davis of Atlanta, Ga. “She said that was one of her proudest moments because a black man running for president was something she never thought she would never live to see.”
A devout Christian and a member of the Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist Church, Adell always imparted this piece of wisdom to her children.
“Put God first and everything else will fall into place,” said Adell.
“I can’t remember mom not praying every night,” said daughter Catherine Washington of Queens, N.Y.
Adell said she occasionally went to the Omar movie theater, but didn’t enjoy going.
“I went two or three nights,” Adell said. “But I rather stayed home and take care of my children.”
Adell is the mother of seven children, Catherine Washington of Queens, N.Y., Arnold Lee of Philadelphia, Pa., Edward “Eddie” Lee of Springfield, Ohio, Gloria Farmer of Bedford Heights, Ohio, and the late Eunice Lee David and Cubie Lee Davis Gordon. She has 23 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, 15 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild. Adell has survived two husbands, William Lee and Ben Adams.
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