Bessie Hendricks, Oldest Person in the U.S., Dies in Iowa at 115

Hendricks celebrated her 115th birthday in November of last year. Her husband, Paul, died in 1995 after the two shared 65 years of marriage.

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Bessie Laurena Hendricks, who was widely cited as the oldest living person in the U.S., died this week at the age of 115.

Hendricks died at an Iowa retirement facility, per a report from regional outlet KIMT, mere months after celebrating her 115th birthday. A funeral service for Hendricks, who lived through everything from World War I to the COVID-19 pandemic, is slated to take place this weekend.

In an online obituary, it was revealed that Hendricks died on Jan. 3 at Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City. Born on Nov. 7, 1907, in a farm home near the Auburn area, Hendricks went on to teach for several years before ultimately meeting her husband, Paul, while out dancing in Lohrville. The two were married for 65 years and had five children together. Following Paul’s death in 1995, Hendricks remained in the same Lake City home she and Paul once shared until she turned 102. Her final years were spent at Shady Oaks.

Following Hendricks’ death this week, the Gerontology Research Group now lists 114-year-old Edie Ceccarelli as the oldest living person in the U.S.

The oldest living person in the world, meanwhile, is currently listed by Guinness World Records as 118-year-old Sister André (born Lucile Randon), who is also the second-oldest French person and second-oldest European person in recorded history. Sister André inherited the record following the April 2022 death of 119-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan.

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