111-year-old Decatur resident Willie Mae Hardy passes awayWillie Mae Hardy. Photo by Beate Sass
On the evening of Dec. 11, Willie Mae Hardy died in her sleep, according to an obituary published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
She was 111 and recently met former First Lady Michelle Obama while she was visiting Atlanta during her book tour. She was born on a plantation in Junction City, Ga. 1908 and was the granddaughter of a slave. Her family worked as tenant farmers, according to a post on I Am Decatur, which published a profile telling her life story.
“In 1939, Willie Mae moved to Atlanta with her husband in search of a better life for her only child, Cassie Nell,” the post says. “She joined the Butler Street Baptist Church where she became a devoted member. She also worked as a housekeeper for various families over the years. Cooking was a passion and collard greens were her specialty.”
When her daughter’s husband passed away, she moved to the Decatur area to help raise her seven grandchildren.
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Correction and editor’s note: An original version of this story listed Hardy’s place of residence as Kirkwood. This was based on her obituary published in the AJC and information published by the city of Atlanta. However, an address for her provided by a neighbor shows her home was in the city of Decatur limits. This story has been updated with the correct information.