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 Linda Ridgeway, of Sterling Heights, is the niece and guardian of Onease Hoye, 105, of Warren.

Linda Ridgeway, of Sterling Heights, is the niece and guardian of Onease Hoye, 105, of Warren.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Centenarian reflects on life, holiday wishes

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published December 20, 2019


WARREN — Over at Windemere Park Senior Community in Warren, 105-year-old Onease Hoye is known as “grandma” to her fellow residents and the workers.

Although she sits in a wheelchair, Hoye can still read without glasses, and she still remembers many past events over her life while looking at photo albums, according to her niece and guardian, Sterling Heights resident Linda Ridgeway.

And Ridgeway has her own memories of her Aunt Onease.

“It’s visiting her on the weekends, staying overnight at her house, and she’d cook special things for you,” Ridgeway said. “There was one thing she cooked: oyster dressing — she put oysters in it and milk and crackers. That was the favorite. I looked forward to it.”

Hoye was born Nov. 3, 1914, in Lena, a small town near Jackson, Missississipi. According to Ridgeway, Hoye was raised on a farm and was one of Robert and Annie Stewart’s six children. Hoye was the youngest.

“She’s the baby of the family, and she’s the last survivor,” Ridgeway said.

Hoye and her husband moved to Detroit in 1943, and they opened their home to relatives who also moved from the South to search for jobs. She spent much of her life in church ministry, which included roles as a Sunday school teacher and choir singer. She also joined an usher board and a missionary society.

Ridgeway called Hoye a role model and “God’s masterpiece in progress.”

“Her favorite Bible verse is John 3:16, and her favorite hymn is ‘Amazing Grace,’” Ridgeway wrote. “Ninety-five years of leadership and dedication to family, church and community is truly amazing.”

Ridgeway also attributed Hoye’s longevity to her diet when she lived on the farm.

“They had their own homegrown cows, pigs,” Ridgeway said. “They had a stream that ran behind the house, and they got fish out of there, so they got fresh fish. They had a garden with all the vegetables. So she grew up healthy.”

Hoye told the C & G Newspapers that, with the holiday season upon us,  she is thankful for “being here and being alive.” She said she wants candy for Christmas, particularly peppermint, and hopes to see her family in the new year.