Wednesday, July 6, 2022

107-year-old Williamsburg woman gets a new roof

107-year-old Hattie Ethel Bowman celebrates winning the free roof-giveaway with four generations of family. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

WILLIAMSBURG — Streamline Roofing awarded this year’s free roof giveaway to Hattie Ethel Bowman, a 107-year-old Williamsburg resident. 

Last month, Streamline Roofing asked community members to nominate friends, family or themselves who are in need of a roof for its 4th Annual Free Roof Contest: “Raise the Roof.”

When Hattie’s grandson, Michael Bowman, and his wife, Tara, heard about the contest, they nominated Hattie for the roof giveaway. 

“As a kid, I spent a lot of time here [at Hattie’s home],” Michael said. “So seeing this done and giving a new life to her house, it means everything to me.”

Streamline Roofing’s Liz Heath presented Hattie with flowers during the celebration at her home. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

Hattie has lived in her house on Richmond Road since 1956, long before the road became what it is today. 

“She has pictures where the road goes all the way across because the lower part of Richmond Road wasn’t even there yet,” Michael said. “A lot of history.” 

Hattie has lived quite an accomplished life over the past 107 years. 

She graduated from Virginia State University and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She recently became a Diamond Soror, meaning she has been an active member of AKA for 75 years. 

After graduation, Hattie started her career as a guidance counselor at the segregated Bruton Heights School in Williamsburg. She went on to teach at James Blair Middle School before retiring in 1986.

Hattie has also been an avid member of the historic First Baptist Church in Williamsburg. 

Streamline Roofing celebrated at her home on Wednesday as her new roof was being installed.  Matchsticks BBQ and Kona Ice trucks were on hand with treats throughout the celebration. 

Hattie has lived in her Williamsburg home since 1956. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

Hattie was all smiles as four generations of her family were there, too, including her two young great-grandchildren. 

“This moment is super special for me because as people get older you start losing family members. I never thought she would see me get married or see our children,” Michael said. “She’s actually gotten to meet and know both of our children and that means the world to me.”

Streamline Roofing replaced approximately 70 linear feet of plywood on Hattie’s roof, which was original to the house. She also received a free pressure wash from Safari SoftWash. 

“She’s meant so much to so many people here in Williamsburg and within our family. She deserved it,” Michael said. “It’s something she’ll get to enjoy and will be in the family for the rest of our lives.”

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