Georgia resident and native Winnell Cunningham Shaw celebrated her 104th birthday on Jan. 8 with her beloved neighbors in Stone Mountain.
11 Alive reports that Shaw was met with beeps and cheers from her community as they drove by her home at Antioch Villas Gardens Apartments.
In an interview with the news station, the birthday girl looked sharp as ever, answering questions about her special day.
“I feel good,” she said. She also shared some facts about her life. “I was born in 1918, Jan. 7.”
When asked why she lived to be 104, she responded, “I think I lived to be this old because I was understanding, and I tried to live right and do the right thing.”
Afterward, she was asked who cared for her up until this age, and she cleverly answered, “Jesus Christ.”
Born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, she moved to Atlanta in 1930 after her mother and aunt died. As a little girl, she attended the most prominent African American public elementary school in the city, Ashby Street Elementary. Later, she attended Booker T. Washington High School, the first public high school for African Americans in Georgia. At 23 years old, she married the love of her life, Frank Shaw, and raised four children until he passed away.
The centenarian is a well-known neighborhood gem. During her life, she was a community seamstress and caretaker for children. As a result, everyone calls her “Ms. Nell.” She even helped deliver her friend’s child in 1961.
Currently retired, the 104-year-old woman enjoys hanging out with her 13 grandchildren and telling them stories about the “old days.” She’s lived through the Great Depression, both world wars, and the civil rights movement, among other things.
She also loves to play Gin Rummy and draw images of her childhood.
Shaw’s drawings were put up for display in commemoration of her birthday as her neighbors drove by to admire them.
Happy belated birthday, Ms. Shaw!