The oldest person in America, Hester Ford, of Charlotte, North Carolina has died at the age of 116, a WBTV report has said. She left behind a legacy including 120 great-great-grandchildren.
Hester was born in 1904 in Lancaster, South Carolina. She grew up working on a farm, planting and picking cotton, and plowing the fields, according to the local station. The report shows that she has 12 children, 48 grandchildren, and 108 great-grandchildren, according to the report.
It was not very easy to get her precise age as one set of census records shows her birth as August 15, 1904, while another set shows she was born in 1905. However, in 2020, the Gerontology Research Group declared her the oldest person in the United States.
A report of her death shows that she died peacefully at home while being surrounded by her family, her great-granddaughter said, according to the station.
“Her light shined beyond her local area and she lived beyond a century with memories containing real-life experience of over 100 years,” Tanisha Patterson-Powe reportedly said.
“She not only represented the advancement of our family but of the Black African American race and culture in our country. She was a reminder of how far we have come as people on this earth.
“She has been celebrated all over the world by local governments, community leaders, social media, foreign dignities, and presidents as a cherished jewel of society for holding the honor of being the oldest living person in America.”
Hester Ford’s husband of 45 years passed away in 1963, a half-century ago, according to the report, and she was also a dedicated Christian who always goes to church. She lived through the 1918 influenza pandemic before witnessing the coronavirus pandemic.
The great-great-grandmother ate half of a banana for breakfast every day, and speaking about what helped her live for so long she said, “I just live right, all I know.”
Local county commissioners declared September 1 as Mother Hester McCardell Ford Day in Mecklenburg County, in her honor last year.
“We are honored and we just thank God for the opportunity to celebrate her,” Mary Hill, one of Hester Ford’s 68 grandchildren said while adding that “she just continues to be a blessing to us. And she tells us all the time. You are here to be a blessing to someone else.”