Birthday Queen Mattie honored with family parade for 95th birthday

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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LANETT — Mattie Walker celebrated a birthday on Tuesday, and her family and her friends at the Lanett Senior Center had a surprise for her. They held a parade in her honor. She didn’t ride in it, but she enjoyed the view from underneath a tailgate-style tent in her front yard in the West Shawmut community.

Walker turned 95 on May 23rd. She was all smiles as a line of vehicles stretched out along 16th Avenue SW from Mount Hermon Baptist Church to the front of her home. Each car, truck and two senior center vans honked their horns as they passed by her home. Walker smiled and waved at each one.

Mayor Jamie Heard led the parade, followed by the senior center buses, some city vehicles and the Walker children and grandchildren.

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“It means so much to us to see her and to be with her on her 95th birthday,” said daughter Sue Redd, who lives in Palmetto, Georgia. “She was such a wonderful mother. She raised seven children. She’s a wonderful grandmother and great grandmother, too. You will never meet a kinder, more loving person than her. She always wanted to help people in any way she could. She raised all of us here in Lanett, She always loved being around all of us, and she loved to sing and dance.”

One of her grandchildren was wearing a white shirt with her photo on it and wishing “Queen Mattie” a happy birthday.

Among the family members present with Redd were daughters Dorothy Gray of Atlanta, Betty Barnes of Huguley, Vanessa James of Columbus, and Veronica Bonner of Peachtree City, Georgia and son Clinton Brock of LaGrange. One of her sons, Michael Brock, is deceased.

“She’s our birthday queen today,” Redd said.

Walker sat in her favorite chair underneath a tailgate-style tent. She smiled and waved at each passing vehicle. Always one to look her best, she wore a kelly green sweater with matching fingernails. Some large pink balloons were on each side of the chair. A bouquet of red roses were on one side with yellow ones on the other. The tent protected her from a light rain that was falling during the noon hour.

It was a birthday party no one who was there will ever forget.