By Jessica Easthope
Margaret Philips has spent her life giving back.
“My mother would always take care of the neighbors who were sick, she would go and help them and spend several hours with them two three times a week,” said Ronnie Arikian, one of Margaret’s daughters.
On her one hundredth birthday, not even a pandemic could stop her family and friends from safely celebrating with her. Marge, as she’s known to those closest to her, isn’t taking her milestone birthday too seriously.
“Well according to my expectations, I don’t feel any different than yesterday,” Marge said.
But she’s the only one.
“You have made an impact on everybody in this room,” said one of her guests.
Masked with excitement, the guests paid tribute to Marge, who has devoted her life to others. As for her secret to living this long, Marge was always on the go, finding creative ways to improve the world around her.
“She was very much into doing tasks and painting the house, and putting things together and using the workshop down the basement,” said Margie Adams, Marge’s youngest daughter.
All these years later, she’s the glue that’s held her family together. Though she was the one opening presents, the real gifts are what she has passed on to her family.
“That’s where I think I got my calling from, was watching my mother all those years taking care of people in need,” Ronnie said.
Marge has been a parishioner at Holy Child Jesus for as long as the church has stood in Richmond Hill, Queens. These days church comes to her, but her faith is stronger than ever.
“It gave me stability, so I had something to fall back on if I felt bad,” Marge said.
Her faith has gotten her this far, and she’s confident it will take her to the next 100.