Beloved ‘Granny’ to many, Florida woman celebrates 106th birthday
Lois Elizabeth B. Scott, affectionately known as “Granny” to those who say they’re blessed to have her in their lives, insists she’s the one God has blessed.
Scott celebrated her 106th birthday Sunday with a twinkle in her eyes, along with hugs and smiles for family and friends who gathered to honor her at Lanier Rehabilitation Center in Jacksonville.
“I feel blessed to have a family that loves me the way that I love them,” she said when asked about living so long.
Scott has been an inspiration and mentor to multiple generations of young people — and not just within her own family.
“It was always wisdom and knowledge. We would sit in the living room, listen and learn and be taught by her,” Yvette Wards said of Scott, who is her best friend’s grandmother.
Wards said Scott remains a touchstone for more than a few youngsters who are now adults.
“She was always there for us all the time … Wisdom and knowledge, something that could carry you through in life. There was a life lesson we could learn from her all the time,” Wards said.
Yvonne Adams is Scott’s cousin and closest relative. But Scott is “Granny” to everybody, she said.
“She’s unreal with the energy she has,” Adams said of Scott, who was born Feb. 16, 1914, in Jacksonville.
Adams said her parents died when she was young. Scott then became her guardian, along with an aunt.
Scott worked as a domestic for a family she loves and who continue to love her, Adams said.
She graduated from Stanton High School and was the last elected president of the Class of 1933, family members said.
Self-taught, Scott was a gifted seamstress, who made clothes for family, friends and those in need.
“The earliest thing I remember was when I was in second grade, and we had a little chorus. She made my little uniform,” Adams said.
Scott then “just got better and better at sewing,” she said.
“Later on, she began sewing uniforms for the ushers at the church,” said Adams, noting Scott was a meticulous seamstress.
When Adams’ son graduated from high school, he needed a suit in his school color. Scott made him a suit, vest and pants, she said.
“She’s also the best cook in the world,” Adams said. “And she loves to travel with family and friends.”
Scott is known for her sense of humor. Last year on her birthday, she was asked what she attributed her long life to.
“She answered, ‘God is not ready for me yet’,” Adams recalled.
A longtime resident, Scott is beloved by the staff and fellow residents at the center, administrator Jason Kallen said.
“She is such a sweetheart. Everyone loves her,” Kallen said of Scott, who is the oldest resident at the center. She also is among the most active there, he said.
“We are very blessed to have her with us. ... She really is like a grandma to 90 percent of our staff. She really is a great lady,” Kallen said.
Scott said keeping active is among the secrets to long life.
“I worked all my life. I go to church. And I shopped. I have a good time,” Scott said with a smile.
Sunday, her family and friends read poems in her honor during the celebration and birthday dinner for her at the center.
Earlier, Scott was recognized by her longtime church family at St. Paul A.M.E., where she and her family have worshiped all their lives.
Adams said Scott has been faithful to her church her entire life.
“Church came first,” Adams said.
Scott was among the original members of church Usher Board 2 and served faithfully as recording secretary and stayed in that post until she was 94, Adams said.
Adams said Scott then was honored by church Pastor Marvin C. Zanders II, who named the Youth Usher Board after her — the Lois B. Scott Female Youth Usher Board.
The board sat with her in church Sunday morning.
Scott also enjoyed weekly meetings with the volunteers, assisting with church-related chores but “mostly because of the joyful time spent with old friends,” Adams noted.
She also was a member of the Helping Hands Social and Saving Club, Adams said.
Jacksonville City Council members Al Ferraro of District 2 and Ju’Coby Pittman of District 8 read a city proclamation honoring her and her life. Scott also was made an honorary council member.
Scott generally takes it easy. She loves to read the newspaper, work on puzzle books and watching game shows on television.
Teresa Stepzinski: (904) 359-4075
This story originally published to jacksonville.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.