- Lifespan: Aug, 11, 1911
- Age: 112 years
- Birthplace: Moark, Clay County, Arkansas, USA
- Last residence: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
- Validation date: Aug. 11, 2023
- Validation source: Robert Young/Oliver Trim/Waclaw Jan Kroczek
Susie Lewis was born in Moark, Clay County, Arkansas, USA on August 11, 1911, as the daughter of Horace and Helen (née Bell) Jackson. At the time she was nine, Lewis’ father left Arkansas and moved his family to Chicago’s West Side. For a while they lived near Washburn Avenue but kept pushing west, finally settling in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where she would grow up. For a while, she went to the now-closed Medill Elementary School on the Near West Side. At the time, she was the only African American student in her class. She and her husband were married for 52 years. They raised their family on the city’s West Side, working various jobs. Lewis had three children, Rudolph Valentino Booth, Constance Lee Henry and Allen Jerome Lewis. At the time they went to school, the atmosphere at school changed in favour of segregation at classes. In 1963, a coalition of civil rights activists staged the largest school boycott in the city’s history to protest segregated schools and the lack of resources for predominantly African-American schools on the South and West sides. During her lifetime, Lewis has worked on a tractor farm, did housework, helped put together parts in a TV factory and folded clothes at a laundry. Her last job was for the B&O Railroad. She was around 70 years old then. Lewis helped establish the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church on the West Side and served on the usher board there for many years. She joined the Garden of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church of Maywood in 1970 where she holds the title of the oldest member and Mother of the church. Her only daughter, Constance Henry, died in 2005. Lewis had an active lifestyle until she had knee surgery. She used to enjoy bowling and fishing, which she loved especially. She used to go to Wisconsin, and every year she went to Canada.
At the time she was 106, she would make her way to the Garden of Prayer Church in Broadview where she served as a “church mother,” a sacred role in the African-American church tradition that is only attained through spiritual maturity. Faith continued to play an important role in her life. As centenarian she stated: “I stayed close to God all my life, and that’s the best thing I can tell people. No matter what happens, God will always make a way because he brought me through a lot.” In August 2021, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming a supercentenarian. She reportedly reads the Bible every day. Lewis attributes her longevity to her strong work ethic and her Christian beliefs. Her diet did not include any dietary restrictions; yet included cat fish, buffalo fish and perch. The secret to a long life she says, is to “trust God.”. At the time of her 112th birthday, Lewis lived in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is currently the oldest known living person in Illinois.
The case of Susie Lewis was verified by Robert Young, Oliver Trim, and Waclaw Jan Kroczek, and validated by the GRG on Aug. 11, 2023.
- Oldest person in Illinois
Susie Lewis at age 106.
Susie Lewis, with her grandson Nathaniel Rouse on her 108th birthday.
Susie Lewis on her 110th birthday:
Feb. 2023: Susie Lewis honored as the Cook County’s oldest voter at age 111: