Bessie Hendricks Dies: Bessie Laurena Hendricks lived from November 7, 1907, to January 3, 2023. At the time of her death, she was the oldest person known to be alive in the United States. Her age was confirmed by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).
She was born in the United States, but Maria Branyas Morera of Spain was older than her. At the time of her death, Hendricks was also the fourth-oldest confirmed person in the world (after Lucile Randon, Branyas Morera, and Fusa Tatsumi).
America’s Oldest Person, Bessie Hendricks Dies At 115!
On Tuesday, the 115-year-old American who was the oldest person still alive died. Gerontology Research Group says Bessie Hendricks was the oldest living person in the US and the fourth oldest in the world. This week, she died at the Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City, Iowa.
Hendricks was born in that city on November 7, 1907, and grew up on a farm. She went on to have five kids, two of whom died before she did. On June 27, 1930, she married Paul, and the couple had Shirley, Joan, Roland, Glenda, and Leon.
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During World War II, the Des Moines Register said that Hendricks taught in a one-room schoolhouse and filled shells with gunpowder on an assembly line at an ammunition plant. When he died on May 25, 1995, Hendricks and her husband had just one month left until they would have been married for 65 years.
The supercentenarian lived through 21 presidents, the Spanish Flu, the Roaring ’20s, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the Cold War, and the coronavirus pandemic. When Hendricks turned 110, she told the Fort Dodge Messenger that “hard work” is the key to living a long and happy life.
But her son told people that she “loved her sweets.” “Bessie keeps going because she has a strong will and loves her family,” a care center administrator said on her birthday in 2019. “She knows how lucky she is.”
Three of her children, nine of her grandchildren, 28 of her great-grandchildren, and 42 of her great-great-grandchildren have died since she did. Hendricks’ death means that Edie Ceccarelli, who will turn 115 on February 5, is now the oldest person still alive in the United States.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.