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A Caroline County woman believed to have been the oldest woman in Virginia died at age 112.
Maggie James talks with Marquia, her great-great-granddaughter, at James' 109th birthday party.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 6/7/2012
Ware, 62, her oldest grandchild, said James was very alert up until her last few months. She said her short-term memory and vision had started to decline and she was on the verge of dementia.
Ware and the health center employees said James would share stories about her life growing up on a farm in the Paige area of Caroline.
She married Deacon George James, and they had two sons. She outlived all of them.
When the country was hit by the Great Depression, the homemaker kept her family afloat.
"She sold eggs to keep the house. She raised chickens. She churned butter. She took care of everybody because she was just a strong woman," Ware said.
But Ware, an educator in the Caroline County Public School system, said the most important thing that James stressed to her family was getting an education.
James, who completed up to the fifth grade in a one-room schoolhouse, was an avid reader and used to read the newspaper every day.
"There are just so many things I remember about her during my childhood," Ware said. "It was such a blessing to have her for so long.
A funeral for James will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Third Mount Zion Baptist Church in Woodford.
A viewing will be held Friday at noon at Cedell Brooks Funeral Home in Port Royal.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419
In 1900, when Maggie James was born:
A loaf of bread cost
A quart of milk cost
A dozen eggs cost
Life expectancy at birth was 47 years old.
A public school teacher's salary was $328 per year.
--"The Value of a Dollar: 1860-2004," Grey House Publishing