Sun, May 25, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Oldest American woman celebrates 115th birthday

AP, INKSTER, Michigan

Jeralean Talley watches her 14-month-old great-great-grandson, Armmell Holloway, play next to her during her 115th birthday in her home in Inkster, Michigan, on Friday.

Photo: Reuters

The oldest living American, a member of a select group of the living to have been born in the 19th century, has celebrated her 115th birthday.

Jeralean Talley, who was born on May 23, 1899, on Friday celebrated as the second-oldest person in the world, according to a list maintained by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s longest-living people.

She went fishing last year and still gets around on her own with the help of a walker.

On her birthday, Talley was going to the doctor for a checkup, although she says she does not feel sick.

The Michigan resident plans to celebrate with family and friends at a local church today.

Talley’s knees occasionally hurt, her right hand shakes, she has a hard time hearing and her memory comes and goes.

Her answer as to why she has lived so long has not changed over the years.

“It’s all in the good Lord’s hands,” Talley told the Detroit Free Press. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

The Gerontology Research Group verified Talley’s age using census data. Japan resident Misao Okawa, 116, is the world’s oldest person, according to the group.

Talley, whose husband died in 1988, is cared for by a 76-year-old daughter who lives with her.

Five generations of the family are living in the area, including a great-great-grandson.

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