Eileen Sullivan Mayhew celebrates her 100th birthday

Extended family helps blow out the candles.

Blowing out the candles:  Eileen with great grandson Tim Pénicaud (far left), son, "Skip" (Benjamin) Mayhew, and great grandchildren Rasmus Mayhew; Owen, Nicholas and Eliza Pénicaud, Ryan May and Freya Mayhew. — Photo by Lynn Christoffers

Mayhews and extended family gathered on Saturday, May 16, to celebrate the 100th birthday of their grand matriarch, Eileen Sullivan Mayhew, at her residence at the Long Hill Nursing Home in Edgartown.

Eileen was surrounded by her four children — Greg, Jonathan, Skip (Benjamin), and Margaret — along with many of her 27 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. Eileen’s youngest great-grandchild, Leyawin Mayhew, was born on May 11, to Todd and Audrey Mayhew of West Tisbury, on Eileen’s actual birthday.

Residents of Long Hill joined the group to sing “Happy Birthday” to Eileen; the great-grandchildren gathered to blow out the candles. Eileen’s son Skip and daughter, Margaret, proposed a toast, and friends and family raised glasses of champagne and strawberry punch. Young and old enjoyed the veggies, cold cuts, watermelon, and chips and pita, as family members showered Eileen with birthday cards and special homemade greetings. Filmmaker Jeremy Mayhew (Eileen’s grandson) and his wife Michele brought 3-year-old twins Freya and Haley, who had birthday cards for their great-grandmother. Jeremy recalled his oral history recording of his grandmother Eileen’s voice in parts of his film, Strikers Passing.

Eileen is rather quiet these days, but sparkled in her pink and white outfit (with pearls), and seemed pleased to see her family around her.