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Centenarian: Margaret Ann Greer

Margaret Ann Greer Margaret Ann Greer

Margaret Greer is the youngest of 9 children born to Henrietta and James Ryan of Long Ground, Montserrat. She was born November 8th, 1911.

She attended St. Georges School in Harris Montserrat. She met Edmund Greer in 1934 and they got married shortly after this date.  They were together as husband and wife for more than 50 years before his passing. She has been widowed for the last 28 years. She and her husband had 14 children and raised 10 of them to adulthood. Eight of them are still alive.  She also has 26 grand children, 14 great grand children and 4 great great grand children.  Growing up in Montserrat, she taught her children not only to share among siblings but with other relatives and friends. To her children, she is known as “Mama”. To friends and relatives she is known as “Miss Maggie”.

She has maintained an independent life and is in good health living with her daughter, Ceres, in Randolph, Massachusetts. The manner in which she has lived her life has been a great source of inspiration for her family and many others who have had the opportunity to know her. With each passing year, we have developed a greater sense of appreciation for the values she has taught us and the life she has lived for over 100 years.

Until last year when shefell, she was never sick. She has been very lucky in that even today; she does not suffer from any illnesses. She believes strongly that her diet, physical activities low stress level in Montserrat combined with her positive attitude have contributed to the length of her life. The fact that we were eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown in that volcanic soil in Montserrat along with lots of fish has contributed to her making it to 100.

While raising her children in Montserrat, we were constantly kept busy walking to and from school and completing activities before and after school. After school, we had a long list of tasks to be completed in addition to home work. She has always placed a high level of emphasis on education. She used to say to us: “Get all the education you can because no one can take your education from you”. Another saying of hers is: “Learn to think globally” This is reflected in the fact that her children now live on 2 continents and travel all over the world. She taught us to value hard work in school, at home and on the job. Mama was constantly busy in her garden growing all types of crops. She would often say: “Hard work never killed anyone”. Both our mother and father would say: “You should take pride in what you do”. Eating a healthy diet was very important to her. She made sure that we had 3 balanced meals every day. She used to say to us: “The greatest wealth you can have in life is good health”. She has always had a strong belief in God. Almost every Sunday morning, we would travel from Harris Hill to Bethel Methodist Church. Back in Montserrat and even today she reads her bible regularly. She believes strongly in prayer and it was Lou Holtz who expressed her attitude in this aspect of her life the best. He states: “Never tell your problems to anyone. 20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them”.

She has always maintained a very positive attitude to life. She has many losses including her husband, our father, Edmund Greer, and some of her children. She has been able to accept whatever life has thrown at her, bounce back and move on with her life. A quote from Winston Churchill best describes her attitude to life. The quote is: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly she recovered and moved on with her life after she fell and broke both of her wrists last year. She gets her rest every day and she has lived a life with a minimum of stress. It was T. Boone Pickens who expressed her philosophy best. He said: “Work eight hours and sleep eight hours and make sure that they are not the same hours”.

Your children, Lassie, Fred, Bill, Ceres, Vera, George, Florence, Hazel, other family members and friends were delighted to see you celebrate your 100 birthday. This was evident on November 12th, 2011 at Eastwood Manor, Bronx, New York during your 100th birthday party where 150 family and friends celebrated the evening with you. We hope that you continue to enjoy good health for many more years to come. In 1900, the average life expectancy in the United States was 47 years and, among people of African Descent, life expectancy was just 38 years. Today, one person in more than four thousand lives to the age of 100 in the United States. We are particularly thank full that our mother still have all of her faculties and is as mental sharp today as she was 40 years ago.

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