100 reasons to celebrate: Assisted living facility throws birthday bash for centenarian
by Sally Litchfield
March 19, 2014 12:00 AM | 1664 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emma Stovall, left, sits with her daughters, Mary Barlow, center, of Marietta and Jamie House of Wilsonville, Ala., during her 100th birthday celebration at Emeritus at Spring Mountain Assisted Living on Powder Springs Road on March 10. Emma was born March 10, 1914, in Swainsboro. <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Emma Stovall, left, sits with her daughters, Mary Barlow, center, of Marietta and Jamie House of Wilsonville, Ala., during her 100th birthday celebration at Emeritus at Spring Mountain Assisted Living on Powder Springs Road on March 10. Emma was born March 10, 1914, in Swainsboro.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
slideshow
Emma Stovall at age 17 around 1931. <br>Special to the MDJ
Emma Stovall at age 17 around 1931.
Special to the MDJ
slideshow
Friends and family gathered to honor a special lady, Emma Stovall of Powder Springs, who celebrated a century of life on March 10.

“God hasn’t gotten my apartment ready, and the devil don’t want me,” said Stovall, who teased that she came over on the Mayflower.

Born in Swainsboro in 1914, Stovall was married to Edward for 54 years. They had two children, Jamie Sue and Mary, and seven grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

The Stovalls spent most of their married life in Douglas and after Edward retired, lived in several places such as Florida, Alabama and North Carolina.

Though Stovall did not work outside the home after she married, she was not idle. She volunteered with numerous organizations and was a member of several clubs, such as the Country Club and Garden Club. She enjoyed growing flowers and often helped decorate her church with her flowers.

Church work and faith is an important part of Stovall’s life.

“I taught Sunday school class for 28 years. I did a lot of church work,” she said.

Every morning after breakfast, she prays.

“I go to the window and look up to the sky and say my prayers and thank God for all his blessings and I pray for the whole world that they will find Jesus and the love of God in their lives,” said Stovall, a resident of Emeritus at Spring Mountain in Marietta.

Stovall was raised in a Christian environment and had several relatives who were ministers. Forgiveness is important lesson she learned in life.

“My mother said if someone says something hateful or cutting, don’t retaliate because you don’t have to take back anything. If someone has a nasty disposition don’t try to match up with it so you won’t have to take back anything,” said Stovall, whose father died when he was 36, leaving her mother at age 34 to raise nine children.

“We were poor folks living out in the country. (My mother) had a big struggle to make us have enough. We moved into town and had a little house with a big back yard. She got up every morning at 5 o’clock. She planted all the vegetables we needed in our garden. She would get up and work that garden before the sun came up,” said Stovall, who moved to Marietta from Carrolton to be close to family after her husband died.

“You’d be surprised with what you can make do. It wasn’t what you had but you made it do. You made it work. You didn’t get rid of something because it was kind of worn. We passed down clothes from one child to another child,” she said.

Stovall continues to live a frugal lifestyle. “I’ve got clothes in that closet and some of it’s 40 years old that I just kept. I don’t get rid of them when they’re three years old. I make my clothes match up, always looked well-dressed because of the way I’ve saved my clothes. I’m always well-matched up,” she said.

Stovall even has a boyfriend named Gil who also lives at Emeritus.

“I don’t have but one boyfriend, the one that just loves on me so. He comes by every morning and hugs and kisses me and tells me I’m the prettiest lady here,” she said.

Stovall, who is still going strong, has been at death’s door on numerous occasions.

“I still come back and here I am,” Stovall said.

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