Suffolk, Va. – She’s lived through 19 presidents and two world wars, but a Suffolk woman isn’t letting her first 107 years slow her down from many more.
Susie B. Walker’s secret to a long life is a simple one.
“Be good, treat people like I wish to be treated,” Walker explained.
Her family can attest to that. It’s the reason she got a nickname when she was young that has stuck with her.
“Her demeanor was so sweet … so they decided to call her ‘Syrup,’” her younger brother, Joseph E. Briggs said.
Saturday her friends and family celebrated her sweet life as she turned 107 years old. A party was held at the King’s Fork Community Center.
Born in Wakefield, Va. in 1906, she soon moved to Suffolk where she’s lived ever since.
It’s a life that’s kept her busy.
Family members say she loves to cook and kept on cooking well into her 80s and 90s.
“You just knew you were going to Cousin Susie’s house to eat, it was like ‘Big Momma’,” her second cousin, Constance E. Jones, said, laughing.
It wasn’t just family she fed.
When she was younger, she ran a restaurant with her mom near Wellons Street.
She also worked at the Butter Dish and was a domestic worker for a local family.
Even after retiring, she wasn’t ready to just sit at home.
“She said, ‘I think I want to attend school. I want to learn some more things,’” said Briggs.
So at 63 years old she attended a Basic Adult Education Program in Suffolk for two years in the late 60s.
She also spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Baptist Church where she was a member and loved to travel, fish, knit and sew.
Through it all, her family says she’s done it with style.
“I have never seen her not dressed, she always wears pearls,” Jones said, “She’s just a lovely sweetheart, she is just a sweetheart.”