Sue Dawson celebrates 99th

Published 2:46 pm Monday, November 5, 2012

Mattie Sue Dawson celebrates 99 years. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 28, Knowlwood Assisted Living was fairly vibrating with the cheerful voice and energetic energy of the day’s birthday girl, 99-year-old Sue Dawson.

Sue had invited a large group of friends to help her celebrate, and I think they all came hoping to “catch” some of her happy spirit.

On the table was a big pile of cards and some unexpected gifts. When I talked with Sue on the following Monday, she had not come down out of the clouds and was still enjoying going through the cards and exclaiming over each one.

When asked to what she attributes her long happy life, she said, “As a child we ate fresh fruits and vegetables and we played outside in the fresh air. I still eat fresh fruits and vegetables — not much meat. Also, God gave me the gift of a good mind and a good memory. Those things, my faith in God, and a good outlook on life probably did it.”

Her happy outlook on life is obvious: she finds fault with no one. She explained her friends are fantastic, her nieces and nephews wonderful, her doctors are great, Knowlwood is an extremely fine place to live when you reach her stage of life and the Crimson Tide is No. 1 again!

Sue was born and grew up on a small farm in North Tuscaloosa County, where she went to Gorgas High School and was active in the historic Campground Church. Her father was a veterinarian.

After graduating from the University of Alabama, Sue taught for 12 years in high schools and spent several summers at Iowa State, where she earned a master’s degree.

Montevallo became Sue’s home in 1942, and she taught in the high school and then for two years at the University of Montevallo (then Alabama College). Following those years, Sue spent almost 28 years as supervisor of home economics education for the state of Alabama.

So it’s been 99 years of success and happiness for Sue Dawson; what more could one ask?


Catherine Legg can be reached by email at