For 65 years Sadie Marie Jackson of McKeesport ran a successful seamstress business and was known throughout the region for her designs and garments.
At age 90, she retired from the Mon-Yough Senior Citizens Club of McKeesport where, for several years, she held the position of accountant/treasurer.
And at age 100, she did what anyone else would —celebrate it with a big birthday party.
On May 7, three days before her actual birthday, Jackson celebrated birthday No. 100 with over 70 relatives, friends, church members and the staff at Riverside Care Center in McKeesport where she resides.
“This is delightful,” said Rev. Richard Truss. “You don’t see this a lot. The celebrating of God’s goodness of 100 years.” Truss, a McKeesport resident, is the current minister of Zion Baptist Church where Jackson has been a member for over 90 years. Her father, John Steele, mortgaged his home over 100 years ago to make the down payment for the purchase of the church.
As a student in the McKeesport public school system, Jackson’s mother taught her how to knit, crochet and sew. Upon graduation, she attended sewing and design trade schools in Pittsburgh and became an accomplished seamstress. She designed, fabricated and produced a variety of garments for individual and commercial clients with a focus on wedding gowns, men’s suits and home and commercial window treatments. She was employed as a seamstress by Magee-Women’s Hospital where she was responsible for fabricating window drapes and curtains in patients’ rooms. For 12 years, she was employed by Jason’s Department Store, one of McKeesport’s prestigious businesses. She also taught adult sewing classes at the McKeesport YWCA.