Hester Ford, who was recognized as the oldest living American, died peacefully over the weekend at the age of 116.
The sad news was confirmed by her great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe, who told outlets “It’s a sad day but it’s also a great day in heaven,” “Although we’re saddened by it, we take great pride in the legacy that she does leave behind.”
Patterson-Powe described her great-grandmother as steadfast and unmovable in the face of adversity. “She never complained, never showed defeat or entertained a pity-party,” “In times that were troublesome, when there were so many injustices taking place, it was her faith that kept her moving.”
Check out interesting facts about the late, Hester Ford.
1. She lived through two pandemics
At 116 years old, Hester Ford has now lived through two pandemics: The 1918 Flu Pandemic and the 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ford’s grandchildren said their granny understands what’s happening in the world right now. In fact, this not new to her.
According to her grandchildren “She just said she remembers that a lot of people were sick.”
Apparently, Ford’s mother would help take care of her sick neighbors during the pandemic.
2. She celebrated her last birthday last August
Ford was born on August 15, 1904, in Lancaster, South Carolina when Theodore Roosevelt was elected to his second term as President of the United States.
She celebrated her last birthday in 2020. Mary Hill and Clayton Harris, two of Ford’s grandkids, planned a giant drive-thru celebration for their granny, making sure she had a well deserved celebration.
3. She lived in the same house for over five decades
Ford had been living in the same home in Charlotte for more than 58 years. Her family said she lived in the same home for more than 50 years because [Charlotte] is home. Her church is 5 minutes away, she loves her church.
4. She worked on a farm and later as a nanny
She worked on a farm where she not only planted and picked cotton but plowed the field and cut wood. She moved to Charlotte in 1953 where she worked for more than 20 years as a nanny for two families in Myers Park.
5. She had a dozen children
Ford was married at 14, and the couple had 12 children; eight girls and four boys. At the time of her death she had 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-grandchildren. Hester Ford was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years who died in 1963.
6. She received recognition by the mayor
In 2019, she received a proclamation from Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles recognizing Aug. 15 as Hester McCardell Ford Day. In 2020, Mecklenburg County proclaimed September 1 as “Mother Hester McCardell Ford Day.”
7. She was the seventh oldest person in the world
For years, Hester Ford always thought she was born in 1905, but just last year the census bureau documents show she was born in 1904. Ford is now the oldest person in the country, and the seventh oldest person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group.