RALEIGH, NC – Some people in this world are beating cancer. Some people in this world have defeated COVID-19. Some people in this world turn 100.
What you need to know
Sam Jones is 104 years old
He beat prostate cancer
He defeated COVID-19
He has nine children and twenty grandchildren
Sam Jones has done all three of them on his way to making 104 annual forays around the sun. His story spans more hills and valleys than most, on the way to creating a mountain of memories. The skin on his face creases at the corner of his mouth and widens as the folds replace the dimples on his cheeks.
His presence attracts the attention of his children and grandchildren in the living room of his home in Fayetteville. His eldest daughter, Marion McLaughlin, said her father is an inspiration to their family. She said, “It feels good to have him as our father. I wouldn’t want it any other way. “
#FunFact So I don’t know if you know this, but I interviewed a 104-year-old man a few weeks ago. Sam Jones is a gem. He is so mobile that he can walk alone. Just like he did in this video. Nothing beats that smile! @ SpecNews1RDU pic.twitter.com/3RFYbbIZaG
– Patrick Karl Thomas (@PatThomasNews) May 8, 2021
It is reasonable to assume that most people who reach her father’s age depend on others to move physically in and out of their homes. If he gets tired of sitting in his recliner, he will stand on his own two feet and walk around without any help. Jones strides across the floor of his house with a grin a hundred miles wide. “I can walk a bit now,” he says.
In addition to his impressive mobility, Jones has a certain willpower to overcome diseases and conditions that most people are unlikely to ever endure in a lifetime. In order to put food on the table for his family, he first had to pull it out of the ground.
Jones said he was a farmer as a younger man. Corn, cotton, and beans were just some of the crops he grew. “My dad was a long time farmer and he taught me how to do it,” said Jones. Except that he didn’t always own the land and couldn’t keep everything he planted. His daughter Carolyn Jones explained it was because he was a sharecropper, so he gave up parts of his crop to pay rent.
As if it wasn’t hard enough being a black man in the Deep South for Jones, he ran into other obstacles later in his older years.
In the late 1990s, Carolyn said he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He beat the cancer. About 20 years later, his wife, Mary Jones, died after 78 years of marriage. Jones said, “I think about her all the time.” McLaughlin said her mom and pops, as they call him, were the glue that held the family together.
In 2019 he survived surgery for a brain haemorrhage. Then again, in the midst of the 2021 pandemic, he locked up COVID-19. When Jones went to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for seven days because of the new coronavirus, it was hard for him and his family.
His granddaughter Pamela Price said, “We knew he was going to beat it because he’s been through so much.”
The father of nine and grandfather of twenty returned home from the hospital in March. Price said her grandfather is as tough as they are. “All I can say is he’s the epitome of a strong man,” said Price.
To stay strong, Jones remains active. There are times when he walks around outside his house to exercise. Family members say they love to hang out with him. Price said he walks well enough most days to go without a wheelchair. “I always say I’d like to live as long as he’s lived enough to turn 104,” Price said.
To look at Jones is to see what the time was like then and what the time is now.
Five generations of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and more are due to this 104-year-old soul. Life surrounds him and swells within him. Jones loves life. “I am happy to be here,” he says.