LAURINBURG — Virginia Rogers turned 100 on Friday, but didn’t want much of a fuss made over the milestone.
“When I told her she was 100, she said ‘don’t tell nobody’,” said Paula Jones, a registered nurse at Prestwick Village where Rogers lives.
But the centenarian’s playful reticence did not keep more than 50 friends and five generations of family members from throwing her festive birthday party Friday afternoon that included cake and ice cream.
Officials at the assisted living center describe Rogers as the “official greeter” for Prestwick Village.
She sits in the entryway with a big smile and says “how are you?” to all who pass by, according to registered nurse Pam Sweeney, who also works at the center.
“Mrs. Virginia always has to have her jewelry and be color coordinated with her attire,” Sweeney said.
Friday was no exception. Rogers was dressed in bright pink outfit set off by a matching necklace and earrings.
Rogers, or better known by her family as Gigi, was born July 1, 1916 in Bennettsville, South Carolina. As a child her family moved north to Laurinburg to set down roots for generations to come.
As an adult, Virginia worked for Dr. R. L. Sweeley, an optometrist in Scotland County, while her late husband worked at McNair’s department store, the site of the current Storytelling Arts Center.
Virginia’s son, Bill Rogers, recalls his mother being in the Laurinburg Garden Club, volunteering with the Red Cross and sharing her time with any other club one could think of.
“She was a very caring and giving person,” he said. “Always there when someone needed something.”
Virginia Roger moved into Prestwick Village in 2008. “She lived on her own until then,” Bill Rogers said.
Her granddaughter, Sara Rogers-Wilson, remembers spending a lot of time at grandma’s house.
“She had a magnolia tree in the backyard, all the grandchildren would play in the yard and Gigi and Papa would sit on the brick steps watching us,” Rogers-Wilson said.
Chris English, director of the Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber of Commerce and childhood friend of Bill Rogers’ children also spoke during the celebration.
“Mrs. Virginia, you did something right, you raised a great family,” English said.
Nolan Gilmour can be reached at 910-506-3023.