Bernadette Marlow at her 100th birthday party.
Photo Credit: Katie V. Jones

Surrounded by family, friends and her neighbors at Victoria Falls Retirement Community, Bernadette Marlow celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 18.

“I hope and pray all of you live to be 100,” Marlow said, wearing a birthday sash and a smile from the center of the room.

Bernadette Marlow greets family members during her 100th birthday celebration. Photo Credit: Katie V. Jones

Born and raised in the District, Marlow worked for the U.S. Census Bureau for 33 years. She moved to Prince George’s County in 1970 and raised two children, Patricia Golden and Christopher Marlow, both of whom joined her at the celebration. She moved to Victoria Falls 14 years ago with their encouragement.

“A new world opened up to me,” Marlow said. “I made friends and did new things.”

Many at the celebration shared stories about Marlow’s love of dancing, her strong faith and her boundless enthusiasm. Her good friend, Salome Peters, who organized the party, recalled Marlow’s accompanying her to numerous events, including many political functions, where she met numerous officials, some of whom turned out to celebrate her birthday.  Prince George’s County Councilmember Tom Dernoga (District 1) and District 21 Maryland State Senator James Rosapepe and Maryland State Delegate Mary Lehman both presented her with proclamations, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsbrooks declared Jan 18, 2024 Bernadette Hawkins Marlow Day throughout the county. 

Bernadette Marlow at her 100th birthday party.
Photo Credit: Katie V. Jones

“She is a phenomenal woman. A woman of substance,” Peters told the crowd. “She is the woman I want to be when I grow up.”