‘Mama Grace’ feels blessed

Published 9:46 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Family matriarch to celebrate 100th birthday


Grace Wright, better known to many as “Mama Grace,” can count the days — 1, 2, 3 more — until she reaches the century mark of living. The soon-to-be centenarian looks forward to being with close family and friends when they come together for an invitation-only celebration this Saturday.

Grace Wright of Capron will celebrate her 100th birthday on Saturday with close family and friends. “Mama Grace,” as she’s known by many, said she feels happy and blessed. — Stephen H. Cowles Tidewater News

Recently, Wright was interviewed at home. Sitting in were two of her sons, Marshall and Ellis Wright, as well as daughter-in-law, Syretha Wright (married to Milloyd, who died in 2013), and caretaker, Crystal Kindred.

Asked how she feels, the future birthday girl smiled and said with enthusiasm, ‘I feel happy … blessed. I’ve been taking care of myself. I sleep very well. I say my prayers when I wake and have breakfast!”

Born to David and Fletcher Britt in Boykins, she was one of seven children, four daughters and three sons.

“They were loving parents,” Wright said of the couple. “We never saw disputes in front of any of us. We never heard them fighting. My mother was a good woman. She taught me to sew. She had her own shop and would make curtains and wedding dresses. Dad worked for Planters as a machinist.”

In addition to going to school and attending church, Wright said with a smile, “I danced as a child – the Charleston and Tickle Toe.”

She and her siblings would also play games such as jacks. Even today, Wright enjoys dominoes, and plays at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center with her friends.

After meeting Ellis Wright Sr., they married on Dec. 18, 1940, according to the family tree pictured in her home. Her in-laws, Cleveland and Lucy Wright, “always made me feel welcome.”

The newlyweds moved to Capron where Ellis was a farmer, and later they also had seven children. The four others are Jean Smith and Ethel Jones, who are expected at the party, and the late Lucy Geraldine Lewis and Grace Ann Lee.

“He was a nice, hard-working man who took care of his children and me,” Wright said of her husband.

A long-standing member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Newsoms, she became a deaconess and church mother, hence the nickname, “Mama Grace.”

Asked if she expected cake and even presents at the upcoming party, Wright said, “I hope so!”