A Columbus resident turns 100-years-old today. Vera “Maw Maw” Davis, a resident at Trinity Place Personal Care, was the guest of honor at a party on Saturday, where more than 100 family members and friends came to wish her a happy birthday.
After enjoying cake and presents, Davis was taken outside and family and friends released 100 balloons into the sky to celebrate her century-long life. Davis then released an additional balloon, in hopes of many more years to come. Davis led the group in song during the balloon release “I’ll fly away O glory, I’ll fly away in the morning….” The group joined in to Davis’ delight and they sang the song twice through.
Davis mothered five children with her husband Hubert, Jeannie Diermann, Jerry Gustavsen, Bilbo Davis, Carolyn Hicks, and Joyce Simpson. Originally from Prentiss County, Vera and Hubert bought the Caledonia Café and ran it for many years. Vera became known as the “Fried Pie Lady” and famous for her fried apple and peach pies.
Vera and Hubert were married for just shy of 60 years when he died. Her grandchild Diane Sansing, daughter of Carolyn Hicks, recounted memories of her Maw Maw and “Big Daddy’s” home with much love.
“Maw Maw never went anywhere,” said Sansing. “The only time she left home was when they left for church or to visit family. She worked in her yard all the time. She could pick up a stick, put it in the ground and it would grow. She is the most amazing person I have ever met.”
Sansing described her grandmother’s home. “They built their house out in the woods. She kept about four acres cleared and it looked like a park. They kept chickens and the wild animals would go right up to her. One day she was out in the back yard and saw a little squirrel. She called to it and it came right down to her, crawled right into her hand. Deer wouldn’t even run away while she was out there. She didn’t care for pets, but she always had cats around. She had one she called Miss. Kitty. When she swept the porch she would tell Miss. Kitty to lie down and so she could sweep her. The cat would lie down and let her.”
Sansing said she stayed with them a lot as a child and traveled around with them when visiting family. “Big Daddy had five brothers; Maw Maw had about that many siblings too. They mostly lived in North Mississippi.”
Davis lived in her home until she was 96 years old, when a run-in with a ground nest of yellow jackets sent her to the hospital. Already suffering from some dementia, the medication given to her for the stings worsened the state of her mind. She then moved to Trinity, where she enjoys talking and singing to people and is well known for her sweet disposition.
Including Sansing, Davis has 19 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
“We are blessed beyond belief,” said Sansing. “We have a wonderful family.”