WAXAHACHIE — In honor of an adored Waxahachie matriarch turning 105 years old this weekend, Mattie Borders will be celebrated at her home by what she loves most: people.
“I’ll be sitting on the porch waving to people,” Borders smiled about her birthday weekend. “I just enjoy people.”
“I’ve enjoyed life, and I have no complaints with anybody or anything, and I always say ‘count your blessings.’ So I’m thankful,” she added.
Born in 1912 and living in Waxahachie since 1918, Borders has seen Ellis County change throughout her lifetime, playing a vital role in the community's transformation.
“She was the First Lady of Waxahachie,” recalled Robbie Frazier, daughter of Borders. “She was the church secretary forever 80 years at Samaria Baptist Church, was a hometown hero back in 1990, she was also a funeral director, and has done just about it all.”
Adding to the list of accomplishments, Borders was also the founder of the first food pantry in Waxahachie called West Ellis County Emergency Services for ten years, which is currently known as Waxahachie Care, dedicated in her name.
“She helped a lot of people, and even now we’ll be out somewhere, and people recognize her and remember when they needed help, and she was the one to help,” Frazier recollected. “She’s done so much that it’s caused so many people to love and respect her.”
Her countless students also revere Borders as she taught school for 26 years in Maypearl, Ferris, Midlothian, and Waxahachie. After retirement in 1974, Borders continued her giving streak by substitute teaching ten years after that.
“I like to be busy," Borders laughed. "I can’t just be sitting here and hold my hands."
For the past six years, Borders’ reputation and age has been celebrated and widely acknowledged from those privileged to know her, hoping that this year's birthday will take on a life of its own.
“We have no idea who’s all coming, but we hope a lot of people come to wish her happy birthday,” Frazier encouraged. “She is Mattie Borders, and a lot of people know and love her, and this is an open invitation to come see her.”
As for the remarkable feat of turning 105, Borders tells her secret to the fountain of youth.
“Going to bed, not drinking, not smoking, and not chasing men,” Borders described.
“And always try to be a good person,” she emphasized.
With decoration preparations starting early, both Frazier and Borders have been hard at work since Sunday, organizing for Saturday’s revolving door of festivities.
“We worked on pulling stuff out yesterday,” Frazier described. “Like more pictures, newspaper articles, state proclamations, awards, and just different stuff. So we’re getting ready for this.”
As the walls tell a part of Borders’ story, Frazier encourages the community to stop by for some light refreshments with enough stories and fond memories to go around.
“It is just going to be a joyous time to celebrate her because of so many people that she’s touched,” Frazier acknowledged. “She is well known in the community, and we hope everyone comes out to see her.”
The birthday celebration for Mattie Borders will be held at 801 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Waxahachie, this Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer