Friends, relatives wish happy birthday to 102-year-old Grace Stevens
MADISON – Longtime Madison resident Grace Stevens turned 102 years old on Feb. 16. Stevens was respected in the community where she lived, worked and raised a large family.
Relatives and family friends attended Stevens’ birthday celebration on Feb. 15 at granddaughter Mildred Abraham’s home in Huntsville. Abraham and her sister Grace Durod now care for Stevens.
“Grace was loved by everyone and still is,” Jean Sweeney said. Sweeney, formerly of Madison, now lives in Navasota, Texas and contacted “The Madison Record” about Stevens’ birthday.
“Grace can tell you what to pick, boil, grind or drink to cure all kinds of childhood illnesses. She mostly doctored and took care of her own. She’s a priceless history book of Madison,” Sweeney said.
Stevens was born in 1913 in Morgan County. Her family soon moved to Madison. She married Jace Stevens; they had 15 children … two dying at birth.
“She had a set of triplets — two boys and a girl. She was in newspapers because of having triplets,” Stevens’ great-granddaughter Faith ‘Marketta’ Lindsey said.
Grace “picked cotton in fields where hundreds of homes are now,” Sweeney said. “She can tell you of the days when Doc Hughes ran the drugstore and riding in a wagon to Main Street.”
While Stevens worked, her older daughter took care of younger siblings. “Grace took care of many children, including my three sons. They all loved her,” Sweeney said. She also worked for the Craig family.
Stevens “helped everybody in Madison when they got sick,” Lindsey said. “She loved to cook. People around Pension Row would come to eat.”
Confined to bed, Stevens does sit up to talk with visitors and likes to hum gospel hymns. Stevens’ heart condition required a pacemaker; she has dementia.
“She would never let you cuss,” Lindsey said. “She told you to love everybody and treat people the way you want to be treated. When it would storm, she told us, ‘Sit down, shut up and turn everything off — let God do his work.'”
Stevens attends St. Elizabeth Presbyterian Church in Madison.