Oldest living American with 108 great-grandchildren dies at 116

old lady
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The oldest living American has officially died at the age of 116.

Hester Ford, who had 120 great-great-grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, 48 grandchildren, and 12 children, passed away in her home while she was with loved ones, according to WCNC.

“It’s a sad day but it’s also a great day in heaven,” her great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe said. “Although we’re saddened by it, we take great pride in the legacy that she does leave behind.”

On August 15, 1904, Ford was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, but also lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 116-year-old lived in the same house for more than 50 years. While she lived during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she also experienced the 1918 flu pandemic.

“She was a pillar and stalwart to our family and provided much needed love, support and understanding to us all,” a statement from her family that was posted to social media said. “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.”

At the beginning of her career, she worked on a farm, picked cotton, and plowed the field. When moving to Charlotte in 1953, she worked as a nanny for more than two decades.

“Her light shined beyond her local area and she lived beyond a century with memories containing real life experience of over 100 years,” the statement continued. “She not only represented the advancement of our family but of the Black African American race and culture in our country. She was a reminder of how far we have come as people on this earth.”

Patterson-Powe said her great-grandmother inspired many residents throughout the community.

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