Winnell Cunningham Shaw celebrated her 104th birthday with a drive-by celebration from her neighbors in Stone Mountain, Georgia, 11 Alive reports.
Shaw was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 1918 and relocated to Atlanta after her mother and aunt died in 1930, according to Because Of Them We Can. She later attended Ashby Street Elementary School, which was the largest Black public school in the city.
The school originally catered to white students when it opened in 1910. However, the school was given a new designation for Black students in 1919, according to the University of Georgia’s Special Collections Library.
Shaw ended up graduating from Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School. At 23, she married her husband Frank Shaw, whom she shared four children with. The couple remained married until Frank’s death.
She earned the nickname “Ms. Nell” due to her efforts as a children’s caretaker and as a seamstress. Her nurturing ability allowed her to help others in her community to raise their children.
The Georgia native eventually retired her work as a seamstress. She has 13 grandchildren and has picked up drawing and gin rummy as hobbies. According to her neighbors, Shaw also draws pictures from her childhood daily.
“I feel good,” she said to a cheering crowd, according to 11 Alive.
The retired seamstress credited being “understanding” and trying to “live right and do the right thing” as reasons for why she’s lived to 104.
She also acknowledged “Jesus Christ” as the reason she was able to reach such a monumental age.