The oldest person in the United States, and fourth oldest worldwide, has died at the age of 115.
Bessie Laurena Hendricks, of Lake City, Iowa, was at number 51 on the all time oldest person alive list when she passed away on Tuesday (January 3) at the Shady Oaks Care Center, according to Lampe & Powers Funeral Home in Lake City.
She was alive to witness news of the sinking of the Titanic, both World War I and II, and the Great Depression.
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The COVID-19 pandemic was nothing new to her either, having survived the much deadlier Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 25-50 million people in 1918.
Born in 1907 in west-central Iowa's Calhoun County, Bessie had celebrated her 115th birthday at the home on Nov 7, and was listed last year by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group as the country’s oldest living person until her death.
She was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse there and the mother of five children, according to the Des Moines Register.
Bessie is survived by three of her children.
The Gerontology Research Group reports that Hendrick's death leaves 114-year-old Edie Ceccarelli of California as the country's oldest living person.
In England, Ethel May Caterham, of Ash Vale, Surrey, holds the crown for the oldest known living person in the UK, at the age of 113.
She was born on 21 August 1909 in Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, England, and would also have witnessed both World Wars up close.
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