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Oldest American Dies At 116

Cotton picker, nanny, matriarch to hundreds

WCNC, CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hester Ford, who was the oldest living American, died at 116 surrounded by her loved ones at home, according to her family members.

Ford lived in the same home in Charlotte for more than 58 years. She had 12 children, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-grandchildren.

A statement from her family posted to social media Saturday evening reads:

“She was the seed that sprouted leaves and branches which is now our family. God saw fit to make her the matriarch of your family and blessed us to be her caretakers and recipients of her legacy.”

Born on August 15, 1904, in Lancaster, South Carolina, Ford lived through countless historical events.

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In fact, living during a pandemic wasn’t a new experience for her — she was alive during the 1918 Flu pandemic.

“In times that were troublesome, when there were so many injustices taking place, it was her faith that kept her moving,” Patterson-Powe said.

When Ford was born, Theodore Roosevelt was elected to his second term as President of the United States.

Her family says Ford worked on a farm where she not only planted and picked cotton but plowed the field and cut wood.

When she moved to Charlotte in 1953, she worked as a nanny for a Myers Park family for more than 20 years … Click here to read more. 

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