SOUTH HOLLAND | Jenny McQueary and her husband, Christopher, never had children of their own during their 71 years of marriage. Still, Jenny wasn't alone in celebrating her 100th birthday.
McQueary was the youngest of eight children. Between them and her husband’s family, she has so many nieces, nephews, grandnephews and grandnieces that she has lost count. Several of those people, along with family friends, came together Saturday at The Villa for a party in her honor.
They celebrated with multiple cakes — some decorated with Jenny’s picture and others shaped in the form of the number 100 — and assorted other sweets.
One grandniece, Mildred Schure, said that when McQueary suffered a stroke recently, the family feared she would not make it. Yet she has, becoming the first person in the family to survive to the century mark.
“We’re glad she’s still with us,” Schure said. “Maybe there’s hope some more of us will live to be that old.”
McQueary was born June 14, 1913, in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood. She married Christopher, who for more than 40 years operated a gas station in Roseland, and the couple lived there until 1969 — when they bought a house in Calumet City.
Christopher died seven years ago, and Jenny — who says she lived her life as a housewife — moved into the nursing home in South Holland earlier this year.
Although McQueary is a little hard of hearing these days, several of her friends commented on how she still has all her mental faculties. Others made a point of mentioning her sense of humor, which was on display when she learned of a present she received from South Holland Village President Don De Graff.
De Graff, 62, sent McQueary a bouquet of flowers and an official proclamation acknowledging her long life.
McQueary quipped, “People are going to think I’m his daughter.”