The family of famous centenarian Ms. Virginia McLaurin has created a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of her memorial service. The beloved community activist passed away on Nov. 14, at the ripe age of 113. Her son, Felipe Cardoso, confirmed the sad news on Monday.
“People always asked what was her secret to life. She didn’t really put emphasis on the bad stuff and she didn’t let stuff worry her,” Cardoso told CNN in a statement. “She loved the kids and she was just happy to see the first African American president. She was definitely a happy woman.”
Her GoFundMe campaign noted, that she had been under hospice care just a few days before passing.
She didn’t think it was possible to meet President Obama
Ms. Virginia McLaurin captivated fans in 2016 when a video of her dancing and talking with the Obamas at the White House went viral, something she did not think was possible.
Two years prior, McLaurin made a YouTube video telling fans that she wanted to meet the White House’s first Black President in person.
“I didn’t think I’d ever live to see a colored president. I am so happy. I pray for you every day of my life,” McLaurin said as she smiled from ear to ear.
Little did she know that her dream would come true in February 2016. According to a White House blog post, a friend of McLaurin’s was able to pull a few strings and reached out to someone at the Oval Office. They shared how she was such a valuable asset through her volunteer work in D.C. and days later, she was standing in front of Mr. and Mrs. Obama.
In the heartwarming video, the 106-year-old beamed with excitement and danced as she greeted the then-president and first lady. “It’s an honor, it’s an honor,” she told Mr. Obama before running over to Michelle to greet her. “Slow down now, don’t go too quick,” the former prez said as McLaurin smiled in awe of the power couple. The trio danced for a few seconds, before posing for a photo opp.
“I wanna be like you when I grow up,” Michelle Obama told McLaurin, amazed by her energy and passion.
Cash donated to McLaurin’s GoFundMe will be used to organize a memorial service to honor her life and legacy. As of Thursday, the campaign generated over $7,000, still shy of its $40,000 goal. While McLaurin’s viral encounter brought hope and joy to fans in need, her family said that the once-in-a-lifetime experience also enriched “her life.”
The wonderful life of Ms. Virginia McLaurin
Born in Cheraw, South Carolina, in 1909, the happy-go-lucky centenarian moved to Washington, DC, in 1941. For decades, McLaurin volunteered in classrooms and served as a foster grandparent.
In addition to supporting her GoFundMe campaign, McLaurin’s family urged donators to look out for other Ms. McLaurins in their neighborhood.
“There are elders in every community who give back to the community and could use some support. They also have stories to tell. Ms. McLaurin came to the attention of the White House after she started recording short oral history interviews about her life growing up as a sharecropper and coming to D.C. during the Great Migration,” they added.
The devoted churchwoman lived through 20 presidents.
Donate to her memorial fund here.
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