ST. THOMAS — In a life brimming with family, church and love, Edna Eleanor Carty celebrates her 105th birthday today.
The eighth of nine children, Carty was born on St. Kitts to John and Mary Queeley in 1915. She attended the Trinity School in Palmetto Point, and after leaving school, she became a homemaker, enabling her to assist her parents in providing for her siblings.
In 1940, she met and married the man of her dreams, Alcide Vincent Carty (deceased). They parented 11 children: Edwin, Ralph (Darkie), Calvin, Eleanora, Nola, Rosetta (Dolly), Slador, Glenville, Terrance (Terry), Marvin (Boy), Carlene and a stepson, Alexandra.
During the 1960s, her husband traveled to St. Croix in search of work. Carty remained on St. Kitts to care for her blind mother. Following the death of her mother in 1973 at the age of 93, Carty was reunited with her husband on St. Thomas.
The matriarch, known as “Auntie,” currently has more than 30 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren, according to her granddaughter Rev. Melva Carty. A devoted member of the Christ Church Methodist Church, family and faith have always been at the center of her life.
“My grandmother always pushed me to keep going and telling me the sky’s the limit,” said Rev. Carty. “I thank her for her honesty and always pushing me to achieve my absolute best. Every time I feel bad, I can always count on my grandmother to be my pillow and my rock.”
According to her daughter and caregiver Nola Carty, she credits taking care of her grandchildren and eating right as the secret to her mother’s longevity.
“She loves communication and looks forward to regular calls from her children in the states. She loves to talk,” said Nola Carty. “Also, my mother only eats natural food, nothing processed, only freshly cooked food. She also likes fresh air, being out in the open. She can still hear with hearing aids, she can still see and she still walks around a bit. She still has a little bit of everything.”
Originally, a big celebration was planned with relatives coming in from the states, but because of coronavirus concerns and restrictions, only family and friends on island will celebrate with her at her home.
What does Edna Carty want most for her 105th birthday?
“Prayers,” said Nola Carty. “She still wants to live a little longer and she prays every day to her Lord for a little more life.”