Viola Sweatman celebrated her 100th birthday April 24, surrounded by loved ones.
The centenarian's white birthday cake was decorated with pink roses made of frosting that resembled the flowers grown for decades by the lifelong Columbia County resident.
"It's got your roses on it," Elizabeth Connor said as she looked at her aunt.
A handful of Sweatman's family and friends helped to celebrate her milestone birthday by bringing gifts and flowers to Davis Elderly Care on Hereford Farm Road in Evans, where she resides.
"There's three rosebuds that came from my house," Sweatman said. "My son brought them yesterday."
Sweatman was raised on a farm along Newmantown Road near Grovetown. As a child, she picked cotton and later worked at both Sibley and King mills in Augusta before working at Quartermaster Laundry at Fort Gordon.
"I worked in the garden all my life, since I was old enough," she said.
When she was about 13 years old, Sweatman said she was married at Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta. She later had two sons: James Huffman, who was at her birthday celebration, and Thomas Huffman, who died in 2006.
There are five generations of Sweatman's family living today. She has four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and six great great-grandchildren ranging in age from 6 months to 55 years.
During her lifetime, Sweatman said she's noticed how much the city of Grovetown has changed.
"They've done away with the (old) post office in Grovetown," she said. "They've changed the whole town. There's so many people in Grovetown now as what (there) used to be."
James Huffman, 77, visits his mother at her personal care home at least twice a week, and keeps her updated on the state of her flowers and garden in her West Robinson Avenue yard. He said it felt great to celebrate his mother's birthday.
"She's been a great mom over the years," the Grovetown resident said. "(She) made us mind, (and was) hard-working."
She's also a woman of many other talents, according to family and friends. Sweatman is a great cook and seamstress and loves fishing, said her grandson Kenny Huffman, 55, who lives near Pumpkin Center.
"She's a pretty amazing person, I tell you what," he said. "She adapts to anything."
Huffman said his grandmother was known in Grovetown for selling pecans and figs as well as produce from her garden to area residents. If it weren't for arthritis, he said, Sweatman would still be tending to her garden.
Her caregiver, Lisa Davis, said Sweatman has been in her home since November.
"She still gets around by herself," said Davis. "She uses a walker, but she still dresses herself, bathes herself, I mean everything. It's amazing."
On Sweatman's 90th birthday, President Bill Clinton sent her a birthday card, her son said. This year, Willard Scott announced her 100th birthday and flashed her picture on The Today Show .
But to Sweatman, her 100th birthday felt like any other day.
"It ain't no different to me," she said. "I feel just as good this morning as I do any morning."
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