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Sue Johnson (center) sits with her sisters Nettie Jans (left) and Ruth Dupuy during a celebration of her 100th birthday at Bayou Rouge Baptist Church in Evergreen last Sunday (Jan. 12). Sue turned 100 on Jan. 13. Nettie, of Evergreen, is 91 and Ruth, who lives in New Iberia, is 97. {Photo courtesy of Rev. David Trimbur}

100-year-old Evergreen native remains active

It was the beginning of the era known as the ‘Roaring ‘20s.” Most of the “young lions” of that era have passed away -- but not all of them.

Evergreen native Sue Johnson turned 100 on Jan. 13. She was celebrated and honored by her church, Bayou Rouge Baptist, in a special service Sunday morning with a dinner afterward.

Sue credits her long life to eating healthy, exercising and staying active.

“I don’t think about how long I will be here,” she said. “I just enjoy each day.”

Sue is the sister of former Evergreen Mayor Nettie Jans. Her parents were Curtis and Alice Johnson.

She left Evergreen to work in Civil Service jobs during World War II. She met Master Sgt. John R. Johnson and they married in 1942.

“I was a Johnson and I married a Johnson -- something I said I would never do,” Sue said with a laugh.

They lived elsewhere after they were married. He retired in 1964 and she retired in 1973.

They moved back to Evergreen in 1973.

Her husband died in November 1999. They never had children.

She lives alone and still tends her own home.


She drives where she needs to go because “it is necessary. I live out in the country.”

Sue drives to Alexandria about once a week and considers it just a normal part of life -- no big deal and nothing to get stressed over

In fact, she tries to stay as active as possible in her church and community.

The world is a much different place than it was when she was growing up in the ‘20s and ‘30s, Sue said.

One major difference is the importance of technology in today’s society. However, she has not allowed it to have much influence on her life.

“Computers are nice, but I don’t have one,” she said. “I do watch TV news and sports like LSU, the Saints and the Olympics.”

She said she has never seen the need to include too much technology in her daily life.

Asked if long life runs in her family, Sue initially said “not really.”

Thinking about the question, she noted several aunts, uncles and family members that lived well into their 90s, including two that reached 99.

Her sisters are both in their 90s -- Nettie Jans is 91 and Ruth Dupuy of New Iberia is 97.

Her cousin, Lizzie Noble, may hold the family record by coming one month shy of 105 when she passed away in New Orleans.

In looking ahead to the future, she said she believes “things are going to be better. If people work together, this will be a great country.”


What else was going on besides the birth of Curtis and Alice Johnson’s baby girl way back in January 1920?

Sports enthusiasts might be interested to know that Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees on Jan. 3 for $125,000 in cash and a $350,000 loan. That transaction is blamed for starting the “Curse of the Bambino,” which is blamed for keeping the Red Sox out of the World Series for 84 years.

Also, the National Negro Baseball League was formed on Jan. 4, becoming the nation’s first league for African-American athletes.

Those more interested in world history would take note that the Netherlands was refusing to surrender German Kaiser Wilhelm II to the victorious WWI allies and the League of Nations held its first assembly in Paris.

If American history is more your cup of tea, Prohibition of alcohol began on Jan. 17 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution took effect.

Woodrow Wilson was in his last year as President. Congress approved the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote in June 1919 and ratified it in August 1920, just in time to vote in an election that saw Ohio newspaper publisher Warren G. Harding elected.

Harding died in office in 1923 and Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge assumed the office.


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