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101-year-old celebrates Mother's Day with family at retirement home

Posted at 12:59 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 13:53:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mother's Day looked a lot different for families across the country.

For the most part, they could not go out to eat and their loved ones may not be allowed to visit.

That's why a Grand Rapids family celebrated a bit differently.

At 101 years old, Catheryn Flynn's still got it. The centenarian plays piano for folks at Oak Ridge Retirement Community in Grand Rapids.

Known to her family as Eileen, she's celebrating her time as a mother. On Saturday, she was surrounded by two dozen of her closest friends and family.

“Well I think it’s quite an honorable one," said Eileen, "to think that people would be come like this. As far as best, I’ve had so many good ones.”

Eileen has been a mom now for 82 years.

"I haven’t counted the grandchildren or great grandchildren or great great grandchildren, and I know she has more than 2 great, great, greats, I don’t know how many there are in all, a bunch," said daughter Marilyn Lawrence.

Her family calls her Grandma Great. They gathered on a screened-in porch to celebrate. They wore masks and brought jumbo cards and signs for the special day.

“I think it’s wonderful," said daughter Rosa Macomber. "I really look forward to this day, and it was so nice to see so many people show up, I know she was surprised.”

The former seamstress worked for Robert Hall.

“She has been the best mother in law, she has been so giving and loving and always has a smile," said Carol Johnson.

They came to see that smile from Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and the Belding area.

Daughters, in-laws, grandkids and great-grandkids were all there.

“I love my mom, she’s really good, and I live closer to her, so I get to come see her more often," said Marilyn.

“We cherish every day that we can talk to her and see her," said Rosa.

Eileen cherishes the time as well.

“I want to say thank you, for everyone to this for me, that’s good," she said.

Eileen used to play piano and organ for the Whitneyville Old Time Methodist Church.

She turns 102 in October.