Nationwide — Arleaner Washington, an African American woman from Biloxi, Mississippi, has turned 100 years old. Born on February 6, 1924, she marked this significant milestone with a heartfelt proclamation from Gulfport Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines and Mayor Billy Hewes.
Originally from Gulfport, Washington spent most of her life there before moving to Biloxi’s Brookdale Senior Living Home. Once married to George Washington Jr., she is now a widow and the last surviving member of sixteen siblings.
Washington had a big family: 6 children, 9 grandkids, 11 great-grandkids, and 7 great-great-grandkids. Her daughter, Dinah McCann, fondly recalled her mother’s warmth.
“Mother was always a loving and giving person, and that was something that always amazes me. No matter who it was she was always there for them,” McCann told WLBT. “The other part is not only just giving but loving people regardless of who they were or what they did, she’s always there to forgive.”
Her grandson, Marvin Simon, also reflected on the wisdom passed down from his grandmother. He said, “I’ve learned from my grandmother to always be honest. She was very strong in the church so she said if anything, even if you mess up, just be honest and tell the truth and you’ll suffer the consequences later.”
This kindness and generosity extended beyond her family, as Washington devoted her time to the Good Deed Community Club, the Family Pittman Choir, and Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church.
In recognition of her civil and community contributions, Gulfport had previously declared a lifetime “Arleaner Washington Day” for this remarkable woman.
Even as dementia poses a challenge, Washington’s family wants her to remember the immense impact she’s had on their lives, which they will never forget.
“I still want her to remember her family because we’re never ever going to forget her; she’s family, she’s mother,” McCann says. “She’s love; those are nieces and nephews and cousins and relatives and friends and neighbors and church members. My pastors, all of them loved her and they came out to be here with her because of that love.”
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