Hester McCardell Ford, believed to be the oldest living person in the United States and one of the oldest humans on the planet, according to her family, peacefully at her home in Charlotte on Saturday. died. She was at least 115 years old, but probably 116 years old.
She lives more than twice as long as her deceased husband (John Ford, who died in 1963 at the age of 57), and is the head of a huge family of 68 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, and at least 120 great-grandchildren. did.
“She was a pillar of our family and provided us with the love, support and understanding we all needed,” her great-grandson Tanisha Patterson Pow electronically sent to observers on Saturday night. I mentioned it in a statement I sent by email. “She was now the seed that sprouted the leaves and branches of our family. God deems her worthy to be the patriarch of your family, and we are her caretaker and her legacy. Congratulations on being a recipient of. “
Ford was born and raised on a farm in Lancaster County, South Carolina, where he cultivated and picked cotton. She married John Ford at the age of 14 and gave birth to the first of the couple’s 12 children at the age of 15. Hester took care of his home, farm and children while John worked at a local steel mill.
The couple eventually sold their farm and moved to Charlotte, where they built a house near the intersection of Interstate 77 and 85 around 1960.
For the next half century, after her husband died three years later, Ford continued to live in the same house in the Dalebrook district on her own until she was 108 (yes, without live-in assistance). ). The family insisted that someone move with her after she fell into the bathtub and injured her ribs.
As a testament to her endurance, Ford had to be hospitalized for some reason for the first time in her life.
For the past few years, she has helped her family live with her at home and take care of her.
In recent years, Ford’s birthday has been known to attract crowds.
For example, in 2019 Reported by QCity Metro Celebrated at an event organized by the Cooking Matters in Your Community, a non-profit organization that educates families about healthy eating.She Received a proclamation From the Mayor of Charlotte, Villails, who recognized August 15th as Hester McCardelford Day.
“Her light shines beyond her local area and she has lived for over a century with memories, including over 100 years of real-life experience,” Patterson-Powe said in her statement. I did. “She represented not only the progress of our family, but also the racial and cultural progress of the Black African Americans in our country. She how much we are as people on this planet. It reminded me of how far I came. “
Last August 15, Charlotte’s great-grandmother celebrated her birthday during a pandemic. This is the second thing in my life. She also experienced an influenza pandemic in 1918. She was 13 or 14 years old.
According to her family, US Census Bureau documents indicate that she was born in 1905, but another series of Census Bureau documents state that she was born in 1904.Based on the record of living in the United States data Edited by the Gerontology Research Group.
She was the 6th oldest or 3rd oldest person in the world, depending on who’s information was the most accurate.
Ford became the oldest living American in November last year when Alelia Murphy from North Carolina died in New York at the age of 114 and 140 days. (The oldest living person is Kane Tanaka of Japan. He turned 118 on January 2nd.)
When asked in a telephone interview with an observer last summer what was the secret to her longevity, Ford replied quickly and confidently.
Also on the phone, her granddaughter Maryhill outlined a typical day in Hesterford’s life as a 115-year-old (or perhaps 116-year-old) woman:
“After we get together personally to get up and sing, we go into the kitchen and she has breakfast.
“Grandma loves grits and loves pancakes. But sometimes she has waffles, pancakes or grits or oatmeal, and then she has scrambled eggs or sausages with either boiled eggs and toast or I have bacon. And half a banana. She has eaten bananas throughout my life, and I am 62 years old.
“After breakfast, if the weather is nice, take her out (fresh air). Then she has some small games she likes, like the Go Fish game where she has to catch and pull fish. She has an etch a sketch to write her name on, and we sing, puzzle together, watch family albums, and what she likes Is to sit in a reclining chair, watch your family (in your home video), and watch and listen to Gospel songs.
“We also try to keep her pretty active. We do a little exercise in her chair, and she gets up and she can walk a little from her chair to the hallway. When she gets tired, she will say, “Mary, I’m tired now.” So we have a wheelchair right behind her. Then she sits in a wheelchair and we take her wherever she wants to go.
“I am very grateful. I am very grateful.”
Patterson-Powe said plans for a funeral for his great-grandmother were underway and would be announced at a later date.