KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Roane County woman is celebrating her 107th Thanksgiving this year.
Mamie Forester has lived for over a century and during that time she survived the Great Depression, 19 presidencies, and two World Wars. She was born in 1914 and is now 107 years old.
"I'm grateful to live this long," she said.
Mamie outlived two husbands and spent much of her career working on her family farm.
She also worked in a mill and on her more-than-300-acre farm on the Loudon County/Roane County line.
"I was on the farm for all my life I guess," Mamie said. "I started planting corn when I was 12 years old."
After last year, Mamie also lived through two pandemics — the Spanish Flu in 1918 and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This is something her caretaker, Elizabeth Hewitt, called a miracle.
"We couldn't get out in public or anything like that because she is too high risk. The least little bit of exposure and she would have been sick.. At her age she would have been gone," Hewitt said.
Hewitt has worked with seniors in nursing homes for several years; however, she developed a very special and deep relationship with Mamie. She moved into the Hewitt household more than 5 years ago.
Hewitt said her children and grandchildren view Mamie like a grandmother and they try to protect her in that way, too.
"She's family, maybe not blood kin, but we are family. And if something ever happened to her. I don't know what I'd do," Hewitt said. "She's as much a blessing to me as we are to her."
10News sat down with Mamie when she turned 105 in 2019.
"Different ones, they want to know what my secret was and I say hard work. I worked hard all my life," she said in 2019.
The Hewitt family is undoubtedly a part of that secret, too. They have been key to Mamie's health and wellness over the course of the past five years.
Mamie said the Hewitt's are just like family to her.