Regina Farr Ross was affectionately known as "Big Mama."

"Everybody respected my Big Mama. Everybody. Everybody knew her," said granddaughter Gail Nelson.

Most any day of the week, her grandkids said she could be found sitting on a plastic chair on the front porch of her teal-trimmed North Fort Worth home.

"My Big Mama never really left the front porch," Nelson said. "She was always here."

It felt only fitting then to sit on that porch as her family looked back on her incredibly full life. Ross died Wednesday at the age of 103.

"Oh my gosh, 103 years," Nelson said, surrounded by her relatives. "That's a blessing. You know? She saw it all."

Ross was born on the Fourth of July in 1914. Every Independence Day meant a massive party on Prospect Avenue, not far from the Stockyards.

"The whole community would come," Nelson said. "It was hard trying to feed everybody, but everybody got fed, and they would take something home with them."

On Ross' 100th birthday, she received letters from dignitaries.

"'We are grateful for your contributions to the American story,'" Nelson read. "'We wish you all the best for this coming year. Sincerely, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.'"

Ross was a mother of 8, a grandmother to 38, a great-grandmother to 60 and now, officially, a great-great-grandmother. She taught her family what hard work meant. She retired from her job as a dishwasher in her 80s.

"She was like the rock of our family," said grandson Rickey Ross. "She was so strong, and her will was just amazing."

"We're just going to have to stand on the love she taught us," Nelson said. "To stick together, because she was our glue."

She was the matriarch of a family and of a Fort Worth generation.