“It’s just another day,” she said with a laugh.
Dillard, who lives in Conyers, became a centenarian on Nov. 11 and celebrated the milestone at a birthday bash at New Covenant Christian Ministries in Lithonia.
For the occasion she was surrounded by her three daughters, 18 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, 20 great-great-grandchildren, church family and Sen. Ronald Ramsey.
“I’m thankful to reach 100 years,” she said on the eve of the big day.
“I’m still able to do for myself and I am blessed that I am able.”
Dillard travels, dances, crochets, knits and loves word-find puzzles.
“I love to sit in my rocking chair and do my puzzles,” she said.
She is the oldest of four children born to the late Thannie and Augustus Lewis, and she has outlived all but one brother, Lafayette Lewis, who is 98 and still drives a car.
Dillard remembers life being tough. At the age of 9, she relocated to Rahway, N.J., with her mother and brothers to rejoin her father.
“When we went to New Jersey, things got easier for me,” she said.
She attended school for the first time in Rahway but had to leave in the eighth grade to work as a live-in cook to help her family.
“The first job I had we only made $5 a week and we worked from seven in the morning to seven in the evening.”
In her adult years, she worked as a chemical glass washer and lab tech for M&T Chemicals in Rahway for 28 years before retiring at the age of 65.
Dillard had four daughters and outlived three husbands.
One daughter died in 1973.
She moved back to Georgia in 1991 to live with her youngest daughter, Margo Parson.
Dillard said longevity is a family trait.
Her mother, Thannie, lived to be 101 years old and was active until her death in 1990.
Two young brothers, Gus and Paul Lewis, who are both deceased, lived to be 76 and 93 respectively.