“I feel like I’m 18,” says Hannah Plummer, sitting in her Germantown home, draped in her finest pearls.
Surrounded by her family, the mother of five turned 103 April 14 and spent it with family and friends.
“Each year we have a birthday party for her and she seems to be more energetic then the last year. Each year she seems more full of life,” said Gregory Plummer, the centenarian’s youngest son. She had four boys and a girl.
"My mother taught me patience. In any kind of tragedy, you always have to be calm and cool. She's been doing that for 103 years and that’s why she's still alive- no stress," says Plummer.
His mother spent part of her birthday reflecting on a long working life that, beginning at the age of ten and ending at the age of 70, was focused on cooking, first for the family that owned the farm in Germantown where the Plummer family lived and later as a cook for area families and her church.
As a child, she said she remembered walking four miles to and from school. Her formal education ended with grade school.
Born in 1909, there are memories of indignities. For instance, Black Roman Catholics in Germantown received Communion last when she was growing up and had to allow White parishioners to exit before they were allowed to leave meeting houses on Sundays.
But she has lived long enough to witness more upbeat events, including the election of Barack Obama that put a Black first family in the White House.
“It feels great to see a Black president,” she said, remembering the historic night of Nov. 4, 2008. “I was home. I didn’t think it would, but thank God it did happen,” said Ms. Hannah.
Self-sufficient and alert, Mrs. Plummer also needs no assistance when it comes to recalling her meal recipes, which include a wide array of desserts and her ultimate favorite: fried chicken.
She sparkles when she recalls pastimes embraced as a young woman that still sustain her spirit: music and cooking.
“She’s got a great sense of humor and she loves to eat. It’s just a joy to be around her because she’s so wise. She’s kind and you never see her frustrated or upset about anything,” said Debra Plummer, daughter-in-law.
Her secret to long life? A strong relationship with family and an even stronger relationship with God, she said.