There was a sense of excitement in the air last Friday at Vandalia Senior Center in Starrett City as family and friends gathered to help Susannah Mushatt Jones, better known as “Miss Susie,” celebrate her 114th birthday.
The soiree was hosted by Paul Cu-riale, executive director of Millennium Development, with many of Brooklyn’s legislators in attendance.
On behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Borough President Marty Markowitz, Sandra Chapman, deputy borough president, recited gracious words in honor of Miss Susie for crossing yet another milestone.
District Attorney Charles Hynes ex-pressed how flattered he is to be able to celebrate another momentous milestone. “I’m very, very privileged to be here to honor this great lady – to recognize her 11 decades,” he said.
Kenny Bacote serenaded Miss Susie with “People Get Ready,” the 1965 hit single by The Impressions.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was also present for the noteworthy celebration. He announced Miss Susie’s 114th milestone has been added to New York State’s congressional records. Jeffries noted how proud he is to represent New York’s oldest resident.
“When I get back down to Wash-ington, I’m going to let everybody in congress know that not only do I represent one of the oldest people in the United States of America, but also one of the sharpest dressed. I’m going to call her Miss Susie Her Excellency,” Jeffries joked.
Miss Susie ranks as the oldest individual in New York State. Born in Alabama in 1899, she began working after graduating from high school. After teaching for a few months, Miss Susie moved to New Jersey in 1922 to work as a nanny. Ayear later, she moved to New York working for another family in Westchester before retiring in 1965. She is the second oldest woman in America and the third oldest person in the world.
Miss Susie sacrificed a lot for her family and is described by many of her nieces as a selfless individual. Though she is now bedridden, Miss Susie was once an active member of The Vandalia House tenant patrol.