On Saturday, families and friends of Ruth Bell Watkins-Pritchett gathered at MacArthur’s Restaurant, 5412 W. Madison St., to celebrate the matriarch’s 102nd birthday. 

The celebration, which was facilitated by Reva Pritchett, even attracted the notice of 29th Ward Ald. Chris Taliaferro.

“I want to say happy birthday to you,” Taliaferro told Watkins-Pritchett. “It’s a blessing to have you part of our ward. Everybody who knows me knows my love for seniors. It’s something that has been part of my heart for many, many years.” 

Watkins-Pritchett, a natural songstress who was once part of an Alabama sextet known as the Watkins, is still spunky, even in old age. When asked how she feels at 102, the centenarian didn’t miss a beat. 

“I feel fine,” she said. “Oh yeah, I feel good.” 

And then she got back to doing what she loves most — belting out a hymn. 

“I woke up this morning with my mind on Jesus,” she sang. 

Michael Romain