Brooklyn woman 'Miss Susie' celebrates 115th birthday

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- The year was 1899 and William McKinley was president.

Queens and Staten Island merged with New York City.

And the Bronx Zoo opened in New York City.

It's also the year Susannah Mushatt Jones A.K.A. Miss Susie was born.

She is Brooklyn's oldest resident and the third oldest living person in the world.

She's celebrating her 115th birthday.

At 115 years young, Miss Susie celebrates her birthday at the Vandalia Senior Center in Brooklyn.

"Extraordinary because everybody loves her," a little girl said.

"She gets tired easily these days, but it has been a good day today," said Lois Judge, Miss Susie's niece.

Born in Alabama, Susanna Mushatt graduated high school and was accepted to college, but gave it up to move to New York and work as a nanny.

"She was able to work with a wealthy family and they were good to her," said Lavilla Mushatt, Miss Susie's niece.

Her oldest niece wrote a book on her beloved aunt and says despite earning only $7 a week; Miss Susie sacrificed everything for her family.

"It started with her first little check always, always giving back to her family. She is such a generous woman and when you get to know her she has a keen sense of humor and a hearty laugh," Lavilla Mushatt said.

She never smoked or drank alcohol, but when it came to her diet she was not exactly healthy.

"Miss Susie loves her gum, Miss Susie loves her barbeque chicken, Miss Susie loves her bacon and if you take any of the three away you will be told off," said Taheera Mushatt, Miss Susie's niece.

Miss Susie was married, but not for long which she says may be the secret to a long life

"When somebody asks her that she says, 'Well, I didn't have husband,' she had a husband for five years and didn't have any children," Lavilla Mushatt said.

But with more than 100 nieces and nephews, she loves them like they're her own. Her family says she believes education is the key to success.

"She told my niece, "You going to school? That's good, get all the education you can get," said Sclbrea Mushatt, Miss Susie's niece.

Her legacy continues with baby Susannah who is named after her great great aunt.

She also set up a college scholarship fund for African-American students at her high school.

She didn't want to speak at the birthday party, her only wish was to go back upstairs and take a nap!
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