‘Blessed’ at 100

Published 3:52 pm Saturday, November 27, 2010

COURTLAND—Lorraine Roberson doesn’t have a special routine or diet that she attributes her 100 years of life to. She just calls it a blessing from God.

“I feel like I’ve been blessed,” Roberson said. “Because to live this long, God has been good to me.”

Roberson, a petite woman who celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 7, was born in Southampton County, the third eldest of Joseph and Mattie Davises’ eight children. She recalls growing up on a farm and attending “a country school on the highway near Adams Grove.”

“My childhood was a blessed one because I had very good parents that were very protective of their children,” Roberson said.

When she was about 22, Roberson moved to Washington, D.C., to further her education and find a job.

In Washington, she held a number of jobs and was employed by the city’s Department of Public Health for nearly 30 years, holding various positions until retiring in 1971.

She said she enjoyed the work because it allowed her to help other people and work with children.

“I love children,” said Roberson, who doesn’t have any biological children, but does have several godchildren.

Rose Parker, Roberson’s niece, said her aunt is known for her rolls, hats and helping people.

“Her rolls are legendary,” Parker said.

And at 100, Roberson is still particular about her appearance.

“She probably can open a small hat store,” Parker said. “She does not leave the building without a hat.”

Faith has played a huge role in Roberson’s life and she is the mother of the church, a deaconess and a missionary at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Drewryville — the same church she was baptized in at age 14.

After her husband’s death, Roberson moved back to Southampton County and rejoined Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. On Nov. 6, the Rev. James Brown and the church sponsored a birthday celebration for Roberson, which was attended by family and friends from all over the East Coast.

“It made me feel very, very happy that my church family was responsible for such an occasion,” she said. “My friends and family made me feel so happy that I was even loved enough for them to come to something like that.”

Asked what advice she would give young people, Roberson said, “Keep Christ in your life, obey your parents, and go to school and prepare yourself with a good education.”