Virginia McLaurin made headlines in 2016 when a video went viral of the then 106-year-old dancing with the Obamas at the White House. The popular D.C. resident died Monday morning while in hospice care. She was 113, WJLA reports.
McLaurin’s family announced her passing on her Facebook page, noting that she “lived an incredibly full life and appreciated all the love she received from people on this FB page and everywhere she went.”
“While best known for her visit to the White House in 2016, she spent decades volunteering 40 hours a week at schools after she retired,” the family said.
On her 107th birthday, WJA reports that the District of Columbia Council honored McLaurin with a Ceremonial Resolution “for her contributions as a foster grandparent, school volunteer, affordable housing advocate, seamstress, and au pair along with her outstanding years of public service in the District of Columbia.”
In 2016, McLaurin launched a petition during Obama’s presidency, asking to meet the country’s first Black president. “I didn’t think I’d ever live to see a colored president,” McLaurin said in the petition’s accompanying YouTube video, theGrio previously reported.
Despite the petition’s popularity, it failed to reach the threshold required to receive an official response. She did, however, secure an invitation to the Black History Month reception in 2016, where McLaurin met the Obamas during a photo line for the guests.
McLaurin told The Associated Press in 2016 that she was “so happy” that she “started dancing”when she met Barack and Michelle Obama. “I know he said something, but I don’t remember,” McLaurin said of Obama. “My hearing is kind of bad.”
The meeting went viral and McLaurin said she could finally die happy after having her one-on-one moment with Barack Obama.
Born in 1909, the South Carolina native had lived in Washington since the 1930s. “She had an extraordinary memory, sharing stories of family’s life as sharecroppers in South Carolina before traveling north in the Great Migration, the family stated in the Facebook post before encouraging others to “look for the Ms. McLaurin’s in your community!”
McLaurin’s family is asking the D.C. community to “consider a contribution” to her memorial fund or GoFundMe page to help cover funeral and burial costs.
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