Shady Lawn resident turns 102

Published 11:47 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mary Givens celebrates her 102nd birthday Friday at Shady Lawns Nursing Home. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Mary Givens celebrates her 102nd birthday Friday at Shady Lawns Nursing Home. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Wearing a crown and waving a wand, Mary Givens, 102, was the center of attention Friday during the monthly birthday parties held for residents at Shady Lawn Health and Rehabilitation.

“Don’t put me too high on a pedestal,” Givens said, as a crown was placed on her head and cameras flashed.

Givens said she was born in Louisiana, but was raised by her grandparents, who lived in Vicksburg.

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Still fit for a woman that became a centenarian two years ago, Givens is still capable of taking care of her personal needs.

“She washes and combs her own hair, makes her bed up and propels her own wheel chair,” said Deborah Hughs, the activity coordinator for Shady Lawn.

“She also works puzzles and sews,” said Hughs.

Givens was born in 1912, when the U.S. only consisted of 47 states. It was also the same year the Titanic sank and when Woodrow Wilson’s victory over President William Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt for the White House.

Hughs said she had had no children, but had outlived two husbands.

Asked if she had liked one better than the other her reply was, “I done good with all of them.”

Givens said she did not prescribe to any particular diet to enhance her longevity — she just ate anything she was given and said she plans to keep on living as long “as the Lord will carry me.”

The documented oldest living person is 116.

Misao Okawa was born on March 5, 1898, and she lives in Japan.

Gertrude Weaver, who lives in the U.S. is the second-oldest living person. She was born on July 4, 1898.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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