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The oldest living American is celebrating her 116th birthday

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At 116 years outdated, Hester Ford has now lived by means of two pandemics: The 1918 Flu Pandemic and the 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The oldest residing American is ready to have fun her 116th birthday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hester Ford will ring in one other yr older from her residence within the Queen Metropolis, and regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, her grandkids are ensuring she has the celebration she deserves. 

Mary Hill and Clayton Harris, two of Ford’s grandkids, stated they’ve deliberate a large drive-thru celebration for his or her granny this weekend. 

“We’re doing a re-do of 115 and celebrating 116 coming into,” Hill stated. “So we’re excited concerning the vehicles coming again in and simply acknowledging her and letting them know that we love her.” 

Ford has been residing in the identical residence in Charlotte for greater than 58 years. 

“We’re simply glad to be aside of the material of Dalebrook and of Charlotte, North Carolina,” Hill stated. 

Her household stated she’s lived in the identical residence for greater than 50 years as a result of [Charlotte] is residence. 

“Her church is 5 minutes away, she loves her church,” Hill stated.

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has compelled Ford to remain inside her residence and miss church, which had all the time been her favourite place to go.

“She normally calls as soon as a month the primary Sunday of the month, however with the virus. She hasn’t been capable of go,” Hill stated. In order that they all the time ship CDs and the deacons come and provides her communion.” 

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Hill stated her grandmother has obtained a lot love and help from, not solely her blood household but additionally her church household.

“Simply the love, the outpouring of affection is so essential,” Harris stated. “Sure, you already know, we thank God for that. Simply having the ability to embrace that love.”

Ford’s grandchildren stated their granny understands what’s occurring on this planet proper now. In actual fact, this not new to her. Ford was alive through the 1918 Flu pandemic. 

“She stated this sort of reminds her of that point again then,” Hill stated. “She simply stated she remembers that lots of people had been sick.” 

Hill stated Ford’s mom would assist maintain her sick neighbors through the pandemic. 

“That is my grandmother’s spirit,” Hill stated. 

Ford was born on August 15, 1904, in Lancaster, South Carolina when Theodore Roosevelt was elected to his second time period as President of the USA. She labored on a farm the place she not solely planted and picked cotton however plowed the sector and minimize wooden.

Ford was married and the couple had 12 youngsters; eight ladies and 4 boys.

She moved to Charlotte in 1953 the place she labored for greater than 20 years as a nanny for 2 households in Myers Park.

She has 12 youngsters, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and roughly 120 great-great-grandchildren.

Hill and Harris stated they’re blessed to have so a few years with their grandmother.

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“It’s so essential if you happen to do have family members, it doesn’t matter what their age, cherish them particularly once they become old. and don’t overlook to have fun them,” Harris stated. “As a result of life is so brief. 

For years, Hester Ford all the time thought she was born in 1905, however simply final yr the census bureau paperwork present she was born in 1904. Ford is now the oldest particular person within the nation, and the seventh oldest particular person on this planet, in keeping with the Gerontology Analysis Group.

Ford’s household stated in lieu of flowers and presents for Ford’s birthday celebration, they might admire individuals donating to the Nationwide Kidney Basis.

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