Decatur woman to celebrate 100 years of life

Cora Lee Carroll is about to be 100 years old.
Cora Lee Carroll is about to be 100 years old.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - A north Alabama woman is about to turn 100, and it's been a busy 100 years. Her long life has been spent giving.

Cora Lee Carroll is a master with a needle and thread.  Just looking at some of her intricate embroidery work is mind boggling.

Cora Lee is about to turn 100 next month, and her life is woven with many different threads of activities and giving.

"I belong to my garden club.  I want to belong to my embroidery guild, still want to do things for the schools, and I just want to go and help people do things like CCC," she said.

The Committee on Church Cooperation in Decatur is only one of the many places where she donates her time.

One of her biggest efforts came about after a vision telling her to "do something" about the tsunami that hit seven countries, including Sri Lanka.

"...You could build a little house for $500," said Cora Lee. "OK... Now there are over 100 people that live here at Presbyterian Towers and if they'll just give me $5, I'd soon have enough for a house.  Well, that didn't turn out real well.  Some of them were generous."

Word of her quest spread over several states and she was surprised by what happened next.

"I started getting not the big gobs of money, but the donations were from Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas and Tennessee... I couldn't believe it," she said.

She said she got thank you notes from places she had to look up on a map.

At a young age she taught Sunday School and her affinity for others grew from there.

"I just plain love people.  All colors, all sizes and denominations and everything else," she said.

She said the more you do for others, the more you want to do.  And she said God always directs that giving spirit.

Another love she has is for Habitat for Humanity.

"I've seen too many things that have happened, even right here in Decatur," she said.

Arthritis robbed her of the dexterity of her hands, so the needle is still these days.  While she's not on the go as much, she still gets around, which may help explain her secret for longevity - movement and purpose.

"Every night before I go to bed, I say, 'God, I had a good day today, what do you have planned for me tomorrow?  Show me what and how, and I'll do it,'" she said.

She said she will continue to do that until He calls her home from Bobby's Bama.

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