Jeralean Talley from Inkster, Michigan will become the oldest living American on Friday. She is turning 115-years-old and has lived through one full century and parts of two others.
She used to bowl up until the age of 104 and can still get around on her own. She went fishing last year and for the most part gets around on her own with the help of a walker. She receives gifts every year in the form of checks, where friends and family give her a dollar for every year she lives.
What are her big plans for this great occasion? A trip to New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster with her friends and family. Then it’s a trip to the doctor’s office.
“I don’t feel sick,” she said. Parts of her hurt occasionally, her hearing is a bit weaker than it used to be and she occasionally forgets things.
Her birthday on Friday also makes her the second-oldest living person in the world.
Only one in five million people live to be a supercentenarian, meaning that they reach an age of at least 110.
When asked how she has stayed alive so long she answered the way she always does: “It’s all in the good Lord’s hands. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Talley was born in Montrose, Georgia on May 23, 1899 but moved to Michigan in 1935. Her husband, Alfred, died in 1988. Thelma Holloway is their only child and she lives with her mother at age 76 to help her.
She has five generations of family living around her including a 14-month-old great-great-grandson.
The Gerontology Research Group has confirmed Talley’s age and says that there are an estimated 300-450 supercentenarians living in the world.
Talley’s religion has helped keep her strong throughout the years and she lives by the same motto she has for over a century: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
We wish Jeralean a very happy birthday and hopefully many more to come!