Woman celebrates 116th birthday as oldest living American

(Courtesy: WCNC)
(Courtesy: WCNC) (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The oldest living American is celebrating her 116th birthday Saturday in Charlotte.

Hester Ford is celebrating the incredible occasion with a giant drive-thru celebration that includes her family, friends and members of the community, according to WCNC-TV.

Ford has 12 children, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren and about 120 great-great-grandchildren.

“It’s so important if you do have loved ones, no matter what their age, cherish them especially when they get older and don’t forget to celebrate them,” said Clayton Harris, one of Ford’s grandchildren, to WCNC. “Because life is so short.”

For years, Ford thought she was born in 1905, but she found out through census documents last year that she was born in 1904. She was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, when Theodore Roosevelt was president.

WCNC said Ford moved to Charlotte in 1953 and has lived in the same home in the Queen City since.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ford has not been able to go to church, which is her favorite place. But the church has been able to send CDs and the deacons have brought her communion, so the family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support.

Instead of flowers and gifts for Ford’s birthday celebration, the family would appreciate people donations to the National Kidney Foundation.

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