Bessie Hendrick’s 115th birthday is a very memorable occasion. This makes her the oldest living person in America, a feat that has been widely honored across the country.
Mrs. Hendricks is also the world’s fourth-oldest individual, according to CNN’s Gerontology Research Group. All adults over the age of 100 are recorded and certified by the organization.
It is not only the beginning of a new year but also a historical occasion for Hendricks, who has witnessed some of the greatest life-changing events in the last 115 years. The booming 1920s and bootleg beer are two examples.
She witnessed the invention of the first telephone, electric lights, and the first automobile, as well as the carnage and death wreaked by Hitler and the two world wars.
Hendricks lived through the Cold War, McCarthyism, Elvis Presley, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. She was an adult when desegregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the first space shuttle launch occurred.
The supercentenarian has also seen Madonna transform the music industry as a rebellious female artist, as well as Microsoft and Apple in the field of technology.
Hendricks has also lived long enough to see the inauguration of America’s first African-American President, the election of America’s first African American Vice President, and the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
Overall, Bessie Hendricks might be thought of as a living, talking history lesson. Furthermore, if her past is any indication, she may be around for a while longer to share those stories.
Bessie Laurena Sharkey was born on a farm in Carroll County, Iowa on November 7, 1907, according to the Gerontology Research Group on Gerontology Wiki. Her mother died when she was 13, forcing her to take on a new responsibility for her younger siblings. Despite being responsible for the household and raising her brothers and sisters, she completed her schooling and became a teacher in 1926.
She met her husband Paul through a friend at a dance, and they married on June 27, 1930. The husband and wife relocated to Lake City with their children in 1933 and stayed there for the following 47 years.
Paul passed away just a month before their 65th wedding anniversary. She focused even more on her children after his passing and was an active member of the church until moving to the Shady Oaks retirement facility in Lake City.
After the death of Thelma Setcliffe on January 17th of this year, Hendricks became the oldest verified living person.
She herself had turned 90 the day before her mother’s birthday. She is not the only one who admires her mother’s zest for life and persistence. On the contrary, she is just one among many.