Riviera Beach resident Charlotte Hawkins Flowers about to turn 112 years old

Relatives know her secret to a long life

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - She is a woman of few words, but her life speaks volumes about who she is.

Charlotte Hawkins Flowers was born in 1900. On February 20th she will be 112 years old.

The oldest of seven siblings, she's outlived all of her brothers and sisters, and all of her five children.

On Wednesday night, nearly 50 relatives -- from grandchildren to great-great-great-great grandchildren -- gathered around as Flowers' name was put into the history books by Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters.

"And hereby give Mrs. Flowers the key to the city that is long overdue," said Mayor Masters.

Flowers was born in Madison, Florida. In 1900, William McKinley was president, the Wright brothers were three years away from their historic Kitty Hawk flight, women were still 20 years away from the right to vote and segregation helped define Flowers' life.

She saw it all, lived it all and raised a family by working as a maid and cook.

From the horse and buggy age to the space and computer age, she cast her gaze on the ever-evolving American story. The mayor declared her birthday, Feb. 20, as "Charlotte Flowers Day."

Flowers let her loved ones speak for her, and they counted their blessings.

"We are so grateful that not only do we want to care for her, but that we are able too," said one relative.

Flowers is a devout Christian, and one granddaughter attributes her long life to faith in God and a few down to earth, innocent pleasures like sweet potato pie and Coca-Cola.

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