Louisville man lives to see 108 years around the sun

"I never thought I would live to see, live to get 108 years old."

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Major Jewel Mcdonald is one of the oldest people in Mississippi.

Born in 1915, McDonald has lived through Prohibition, The Great Depression, the Spanish Flu and COVID-19, World World II, the Jim Crow Era, and modern-day world changes.

McDonald has 12 siblings. They were raised by a single mother.

“I don’t know how we made it. We didn’t have no way of getting around, no more than a mule and a wagon. That’s all we had,” said McDonald.

When McDonald reached 25, he took off for the big city: Cincinnati, Ohio.

“When I was growing up, always did say that I wanted to go away, make me some money, I wanted to come back to settle in Louisville, Mississippi,” said McDonald.

He retired in 1940 and moved back home where he said he wanted to spend his last years.

He just didn’t know those years would turn into eight decades.

Longevity runs in the family. Almost all of McDonald’s sisters lived to be over one hundred, and his grandfather, who was born a slave.

“My grandfather lived to be. They kept a record of 106, but they really don’t know how old he was,” said McDonald.

His grandfather lived to see his legacy live on

That was McDonald’s prayer too.

“I asked the Lord, I said I want you to bless me with children then I want you to bless me to be able to stay with them till they get old enough to take care of themselves. And I wanna thank the Lord for that. He did that,” said McDonald.

At 70, Jewel McDonald married his wife Brenda who was 35.

McDonald then had his youngest son when he was 84.

He now has 6 children and five grandchildren.

“See all my kids was grown and I was able to stay there and take care of them,” said McDonald.

He hopes future generations take time to slow down and enjoy life.

“The young generation is going in the wrong direction. Slow down. Slow down. See we in too big of a hurry. The Bible say those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength,” said McDonald.

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