INKSTER (WWJ/AP) – A 115-year-old Detroit-area woman is listed as the world’s oldest living person following the death of a 116-year-old Arkansas woman.
Jeralean Talley of Inkster is atop a list maintained by Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s longest-living people. Gertrude Weaver, who was the oldest documented person for a few days, died Monday.
Talley was born May 23, 1899 in Montrose, Georgia and moved to Michigan in 1935. When asked for her key to longevity, she echoed previous answers on the topic.
“It’s coming from above,” she said. “That’s the best advice I can give you. It’s not in my hands or your hands.”
Talley said people should “treat the other fellow like you want to be treated. You don’t tell a lie on me so I won’t tell a lie on you.”
Michael Kinloch, 56, of Wayne County’s Canton Township, is a GM engineer and longtime family friend of Talley’s through their church. He said Talley’s mental state is “is very sharp.”
“It’s unfortunate that other people passed away, but this has certainly elevated her. She’s feeling no pain. She just can’t get around like she used to,” Kinloch said.
Talley, whose husband died in 1988, is cared for by a 77-year-old daughter who lives with her. Five generations of her family live in the metro Detroit area, including a great-great-grandson.
In 2013, her 114th birthday drew the attention of President Barack Obama, who said in a personal note that she’s “part of an extraordinary generation.”
Kinloch said he’s looking forward to taking Talley, despite her advanced age, on their annual fishing trip.
“We go to a trout pond in Dexter,” a community about 40 miles west of Detroit, Kinloch said. “She really likes that.”
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