Washington, Jun 19: A woman in Michigan believed to be the world's oldest person has died peacefully in her sleep, almost a month after celebrating her 116th birthday.
Jeralean Talley passed away at her home in Inkster on June 17. Talley had been in the hospital for a week and was treated for fluid in her lungs. Her family confirmed with FOX 2 that Talley died in her sleep.
"She went away peacefully," said Talley's daughter Thelma Holloway, 77. The Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group considered Talley to be the world's oldest person after she turned 116 on May 23.
Talley, deeply religious and a member of New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, was often asked her secret to living so long, and her answer remained the same over the years. Talley credited God and said, "There's nothing I can do about it." "She always prayed that she should not suffer," her longtime friend Michael Kinloch told the 'Detroit Free Press'.
"God certainly answered her prayer," he said. Talley was born in Montrose in 1899 and moved to Michigan in the 1930s. Her husband of 52 years, Alfred Talley, died in 1988 at the age of 95. They had one child. Talley led an active life and went fishing every summer. She gardened and mowed the lawn late into her life and bowled until she was 104.
Susannah Mushatt Jones, from New York, who will turn 116 on July 6, now takes the top spot on the Gerontology Research Group's list of oldest living people. The oldest person ever to live was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who was born in 1875 and died in 1997. She lived for 122 years and 164 days, according to Guinness World Records.