As the tributes poured in, Susie Lewis, a West Side native by way of Arkansas, sat regally in a sparkling yellow dress, her head adorned with a tiara.
On Saturday, at least 100 people packed a gymnasium in suburban Maywood in honor of the woman many affectionately known as Grandma Sue.
Lewis turned 108 on Aug. 11, but she can still rattle off her favorite TV shows and quote, on a dime, her favorite scripture.
“I watch ‘SSI,’ ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Chicago PD’ — I watch a lot of them,” Lewis said during a brief interview on Saturday.
“I read the Bible ev-ery day,” Lewis said with relish. “Yesterday, I read the 37th Psalms. And this morning, I read the Fourth Psalms.”
Lewis was born on Aug. 11, 1911, in Helena, Arkansas. Her parents, Horace and Helena Jackson, moved to Chicago’s West Side when Lewis was 9 years old, according to a biography of the matriarch provided by relatives at her birthday bash.
She attended G.R. Clark Elementary school and was among the first members of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, where she served many years on the usher board.
After marrying and having three children — Rudolph Valentino Booth, Constance Lee Henry and Allen Jerome Lewis — Lewis moved to Maywood and joined Garden of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Maywood, where she’s been a member since 1970.
Nowadays, Lewis spends most of her time in her Maywood home, where she’s often visited by doting relatives (“they treat me like a queen”) who must come each Friday bearing fish.
By the way, does she have any dietary restrictions?
“Baby, I eat anything I want,” Lewis said, before rattling off her choicest meats (they include cat fish, buffalo fish and perch).
When asked if she had a favorite scripture, Maywood’s oldest relative didn’t miss a beat. Psalms 23 through 28.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want …” Lewis said, starting to quote the passage. “That’s my favorite.”