Mrs. Susie Hasting's
100th birthday

Citizen Spotlight, Giles Co., TN, September 8, 1982
(contributing writer not named)

      Having arrived after the festivities had begun I had to park my car on the side of the road, up the hill a good ways from the church. I was joined by other late-comers as I made my way down to the Prospect United Methodist Church. It was 4:15 p.m., and already some fifty to seventy-five people were on hand to wish Mrs. Susie Hasting a happy 100th birthday.

      Sunday, September 5, 1982 had been proclaimed Susie Hasting Day in Giles County. County Excutive (sic) Earl Wakefield signed a document designating it so.

      The plans for celebrating Miss Susie's 100 birthday began last September. As the year rolled along, the idea never died and about two months ago, under the leadership of Mrs. Hortense Howard, a member of the Prospect Church, committees were named and activities planned so that Miss Susie would be the guest of honor at one of the biggest birthday celebrations ever held in Giles County.

      And so it was! Well-wishers began arriving at the church long before the announced starting time of 4:00 p.m. And by 6:00 p.m. 150 people had paid their respects to the honoree. Among them were Pulaski's mayor, Dr. S. A. Garner, who presented Miss Susie with a bronze medallion. First National Bank president Robert E. Curry, a life-long acquaintance of the honoree, who gifted her with a "money plant" from the bank, and Dr. Bob Agee.

      Dr. Agee is perhaps a special friend of Miss Susie, having become so only in the past few years, for it was not until she suffered a heart attack at the age of 93 was she ever hospitalized. The only other serious illness or injury to which she has succumbed was a broken hip suffered when she was a mere 97 years young.

      On September 5, 1882, Susie Tate was born. At the age of 22, on December 25, 1904, she married Mr. Cleveland Hasting. There were eight children born to this union, both only seven survived. Of those seven, four are living today: Mrs. Venie H. Moore, Prospect (with whom Miss Susie resides); Mrs. Susie Mae Shelton, Pulaski, Mrs. Grace Rogers, Elkton; an James Hasting, Kedron.

      Mr. Hasting passed away in 1941. Two of their sons, William and J.C. Hasting died as a result of injuries suffered during service to their country in World War II. Another son, Henry had died at the age of seven during the 1918 flu epidemic.

Miss Susie has 19 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. Many of her descendants (sic) were on hand at Sunday's celebration.

      Not only was she greeted by the 150 in attendance at Sunday's reception, Miss Susie also received some 200 birthday cards and letters. Over 125 of them had come through mail by Saturday. There were congratulatory letters from Congressman Bill Boner, Senator Jim Sasser, Governor Lamar Alexander, and even one from President Reagan. There was also a proclamation making her an honorary member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

      Her life seems to have been complete, for Miss Susie says there's really nothing she would like to do that she hasn't already done. She attributes her long life and good health to always trying to treat people the way she wanted to be treated and helping others in their time of need. "I don't mean I helped them by giving them money", Miss Susie said. "We never had a lot of money; I helped them by working."

      Even though her eyesight is failing, Miss Susie still enjoys getting about in the yard and sitting under the shade tree shelling peas and beans. She begins her day by making her bed and setting the table for breakfast, and usually assists in the washing and drying of the dishes. She also has no difficulty getting in and out the bathtub alone.

      Feeling she hasn't left much undone, Miss Susie thanks the good Lord every day for her health, her children, and her grandchildren.

      One of her well-wishers attributed Miss Susie's excellent mental and physical health to hard work. Another jokingly added that it was her snuff that she enjoyed dipping that gave her her zest for life.

      "I ain't found nothing sinful about my life", Miss Susie said. "I never drank or smoked, but I don't mind telling you I do like my snuff."

NOTE: Susie Tate Hasting was the daughter of Jessie Patrick Tate and Mary Clinton "Molly" Biles. Her maternal grandparents were C. W. H. Biles and Susan R. L. Brownlow. Two of C. W. H. Biles and Susan Brownlow's daughters married son of Joseph C. Hasting and Sarah Ann Dunnavant. Susie's aunt and mother-in-law Francis J. "Fannie" Biles was the wife of Charles W. Hasting. Another aunt, Mary J. Biles was the wife of William Fulton Hasting.

Submitted by Ruth Hasten Walsh