Centenarian Emily Manigault Reid, born May 20, 1919, recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends in Moncks Corner.
The petite, lively woman has conquered the adverse effects of growing old. “I may be slow but I’m good to go.” she said.
On May 25 she sat at an elegantly decorated table inside of the Heart to Heart International Ministries, surrounded by loved ones wishing her a happy birthday. Sporting a corsage and a tiara, she was beaming with pride and gratitude.
“This is fantastic, this is marvelous,” Reid said. “I love it, I’m beside myself.”
One after another, friends and relatives hugged her neck, kissed her cheek, and squeezed her hands as they rejoiced in her long, full life.
Reid was born in Moncks Corner to Charles and Epheus Manigault. She is the granddaughter of Jingo and Sarah Manigault who were enslaved in Moncks Corner.
Reid was one of 17 children but her family members were separated after the death of her mother. She grew up under the care of her aunt and uncle.
She attended Berkeley Training School in Moncks Corner. After marrying she moved to Charleston and then to Newark, New Jersey. The couple later settled in Philadelphia where she currently resides.
Reid’s husband died in 1986. She has four living children, eight grandchildren, six great grandchildren and 11 great, great grandchildren.
Reid’s granddaughter, Dawn Reid, said her grandmother always loved children.
“Aside from the children that she and her husband raised, she has given so much love to the newborn children that she cared for in her 37-year career as a baby nurse,” Dawn Reid said.
Emily Reid was no stranger to adventure. At 81, she volunteered to serve on a mission trip in Africa. At 89, she went door to door campaigning for Barack Obama’s presidency. Then at 92, Reid took a part time job at her local senior citizens center.
Reid was — and still is — an excellent basketball player. Family members even have a video of her shooting a three-pointer with perfect ease at age 98.
“Emily is a kind person who goes out of her way to make people feel at home,” Dawn Reid said. “She never meets a stranger.”
As far as advice goes, Reid encourages others to keep close to their faith.
“Believe, trust, and obey,” Reid said. “Believe God is who he says he is. Trust that he will do what he says. And obey his commandments.”