Susie Thomas of Pine Bluff will celebrate her 100th birthday with family and friends at 6 p.m. Saturday at Harbor Oaks Golf Club and Restaurant.
Thomas was born Sept. 28, 1913, at St. Josephs, La. She is the only daughter of the late Mary Gines and Nelson Jones. She was reared by her grandparents, Charles and Lou Ellen Gines. She was educated at Rosenward public school in Louisiana and moved to Pine Bluff during World War II, where she met her late husband, Huey Thomas. She then relocated to Portland, Ore., but not long after she moved to Vancouver, Wash., to work in the shipyards. It was in Vancouver where she and Huey were married. The couple eventually settled in Pine Bluff at the end of the war and she has remained in Arkansas since.
Thomas is the proud mother of five children — Otis Carman Thomas, Stella Thomas, the late Floyd Fuller Sr., Gloria Fuller Thomas and Jane Fuller Jackson. She has 11 grandchildren — Felisha Gaines, Veronica Murry, Harvey Franklin, Lasonja Holloman, Zyrus (Jordan) Franklin, Floyd Fuller Jr., Yolanda (Lynn) Carman, Moya Benjamin, Anthony Johnson, Kisha Thomas, and Dexter Harris. She has 18 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Her family currently boasts five generations that range in birth years from 1913 to 2012. She is affectionately known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as “Mama Subie”.
Thomas joined the Hazel Street Church of Christ in the early 1970s. Early on, she was involved in the church nursery, where she was a caretaker for the children. Today, she is still a faithful and active participant and one of the oldest living members of the congregation.
According to a family spokesman, Thomas has worked tirelessly on behalf of the local, national and international community. She is well-known within the community for her efforts with ACORN. She has supported hundreds of marches, protests, sit-ins and board meetings to raise awareness and eliminate many unfair and unjust practices, even being arrested once for a peaceful demonstration. She fought illegal segregation practices that were still going on in Star City well into the 1980s. She was an early member of the NAACP in Pine Bluff and has worked with several political action committees for positive change.
When recently asked how she feels about her upcoming 100th birthday, Thomas indicated that she was “feeling pretty good” and mentioned that she was “very happy and excited to see one hundred years”. She further summarized her sentiments by saying, “For the most part, I don’t feel any different than when I was younger” referring to her physical well-being and overall health.
Seating for the celebration is limited so those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Wednesday. No walk-ins will be accommodated, according to a family spokesman. For more information, contact Gloria Thomas at 870-872-2893.