MAPLEVILLE — Mirenia Massenburg Strickland celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by more than 100 family members and friends, Jan. 14, 2017.
Mirenia was born on Jan. 14, 1917 and is the sixth child of 14 children born to Zollie and Martha Massenburg. She was born in Franklin County and has been a cherished resident of the Maple-ville community all of her life.
She was married for 72 years to the late Joseph L. Strickland, former magistrate serving in Franklin County. She is the mother of four children, the late Johnnie Elaine S. Brown, Barbara S. Humphrey, Minnie S. Wiggins and Dr. Elizabeth S. Keith.
She is grandmother to the late attorney Sharon S. Brown, Thursday B. Rice, Johnnie E. Wiggins, Jr. and Judge Adam S. Keith. She is great grandmother to Ethan C. Rice. She is also a member of Nelson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
Being a part of the American story for a century, she has been able to reflect with extraordinary breadth and clarity her experiences and the wisdom she has gained through the decades. She recalls she first voted in the 1944 presidential election, when she had to read the Preamble to the Constitution before casting her ballot and proudly proclaims that she has not missed voting in an election since that time. With her husband, Mirenia farmed, raised livestock and garden vegetables. Mirenia also owned and operated a successful upholstery business from which she retired in 1992. She is an avid gardener, homemaker, and keeps up with local, state, and world news events. She contributes her longevity to God’s grace, clean living, and loving all of God’s creations.
Mirenia received congratulatory letters from then-President Barack Obama, members of the U.S. Congress, members of the N.C. General Assembly and the town of Louisburg. She sincerely thanks everyone for their well wishes.