Geraldine McCrae

D.C. resident Geraldine McCrae turned 100 on Jan. 15. (Photo by Valerie Russell)

Family and friends gathered at Martin’s Camelot in Upper Marlboro, Maryland Jan. 16 to celebrate the life and accomplishments of longtime D.C. resident, Geraldine McCrae who turned 100-years-old.  McCrae was born in Guyana, South America on Jan, 15, 1916. By the age of 21, she married Frederick C. McCrae, and they had seven girls and six boys.

In order to offer their children a better life and opportunity, McCrae and her husband decided to migrate from Guyana to the United States in 1967, when the couple purchased a three bedroom home in Southeast D.C.

McCrae has 41 grandchildren, 61 great-grandchildren, and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

She is lauded by her family as loving, caring, and compassionate. “She is a God fearing and just one of the most caring people that I have ever known,” Orin McCrae, her son, told the AFRO.

Orin is the 11th of 13 siblings. He said he credits his mother’s dedication and nurturing spirit which she affectionately displayed to him and his siblings as the recipe their success.

As a master seamstress, sewing wedding dresses, christening gowns and bedspreads, McCrae made sure she passed along the skills she learned to her children and grandchildren, which inspired her granddaughter Candace to turn her love for baking into a career. “She was different from your typical grandmother,” Candace said. “She spent a lot of time with us and gave us a lot of love. She had a passion for sewing and baking and crocheting and she always tried to teach her grandchildren. She was always sharing words of wisdom with you that I would cherish forever.”

Candace explained that every birthday, McCrae would bake a princess style cake and present it to her saying, “I don’t have any money but this is all I can give you.” Candace said she decided to ask her grandmother if she could bake the same traditional pound cakes. With a push from her grandmother, Candace started her very own business called, Sweet Kiss Cupcakes. “One day she just said to me to turn my passion into a profit, and that is what I did.”

When asked about her greatest accomplishment thus far, McCrae said, “I am very proud of my children.”