World’s Oldest Person Says Faith the Key to Longevity
Surrounded by her family at her home in the Detroit suburb of Inkster, Talley is still living life to the fullest.
She became the world's oldest-known living person after Gertrude Weaver died at the age of 116 in early April, according to Gerontology Research Group, which validates ages of the world's longest-living people.
On Saturday (April 18), Talley shared a favorite treat – McDonald's apple pies – with the youngest member of her five generation family – two-year-old Armmell Holloway.
Talley credits her faith for her longevity.
"Everything comes from above. Everything just comes from above," she said in an interview at the one-story brick home she shares with her daughter Thelma Holloway, 77.
Talley was born in Georgia on May 23, 1899. She moved to Michigan with her husband, Alfred Talley, in 1935 for his job at a Ford plant. He died in 1988. She worked in a laundry mat washing and ironing. In 1963, the couple had the house built and she has lived there ever since.
Times have changed over the course of a lifetime that began at the tail end of the 19th Century. Pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy hang on a wall in the home. Holloway said her mother would not have predicted the election of President Barack Obama.
Throughout the years, Talley has maintained an active lifestyle. "She bowled up until she was 104," Holloway said, adding that her mother scored 200 in her final game. Talley now uses a walker and mostly stays at home or visits family members' homes. She remains active in the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, where a special front row seat is reserved for her. She also looks forward to an annual fishing trip.
"She enjoys fishing. She goes fishing every year, but it's not quite time. Maybe sometime in June she'll get around to going," Holloway said.
Talley said she is tired of all the questions she hears from the news media. "I feel just like I feel," she said. "I feel good."
The family plans to take Talley out to dinner on her 116th birthday and indulge a shared sweet tooth with birthday cake.