Oldest Living American Jerlean Talley Turns 116

Photo credit:  Detroit Free Press.
Photo credit: Detroit Free Press.

The world’s oldest person celebrated her 116th birthday on Saturday in the Detroit-area city of Inkster, Michigan.

Born in 1899, Talley has lived through the turn of two centuries and 20 different presidents. The most recent of those presidents, Barack Obama sent Talley a special birthday greeting.

“The breadth of your experiences and depth of your wisdom reflect the long path our Nation has traveled since 1899, the president’s letter said. “During this time, there have been setbacks and breakthroughs, false starts and improbable victories, and through it all our country’s spirit has endured — strengthened and enriched by each generation.”

Talley was born in Georgia on May 23, 1899, one of 12 children. She moved to Michigan in 1935 with her husband, Alfred Talley, who died in 1988 at the age of 95.

According to the Detroit  Free Press, Talley got a jump start on the celebrations Thursday when she was honored at the Michigan Department of Health on Human Services office in Inkster. She received $116, a dollar for each year of her life, as one of her gifts.

Before leaving, Talley waved to the crowd and told them “I thank you very, very, very, very much.”

Thankful to God for her longevity, Jerlean has lived an active life, still fishes each year and plans to go this summer. Talley gardened and mowed the lawn late into her life, bowled until she was 104 and still fondly recalls her last game — a 200.

“She’s still in her right mind,” said Thelma Holloway, Talley’s only child, and one of five generations of relatives still living.

There are more birthday parties planned, in addition to the one Saturday in Inkster. There’s  another celebration planned today Sunday at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, where Talley is a longtime member.

Source: Detroit Free Press.


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2 thoughts on “Oldest Living American Jerlean Talley Turns 116”

  1. Ms. Tallley is TRULY blessed. Her eyes so bright and alert; few wrinkles on her face WOW! Back in “the Bible days” people lived well into their hundreds. I really enjoyed the article. It was refreshing and very inspiring.

  2. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

    He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

    With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

    Ms. Talley is a living testimony!!!

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