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Jeralean Talley, World's Oldest Woman Alive, Celebrates Her 116th Birthday in Michigan Church

( [email protected] ) Jun 15, 2015 12:50 PM EDT
Jeralean Talley, the world's oldest woman, celebrated her 116th birthday on Saturday. But Talley, from Inkster, Detroit will have another birthday celebration on Sunday at her church, New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist, reported NBC Chicago.
Jeralean Talley, the world's oldest-known living person, is escorted down the aisle following a church service and celebration for her 116th birthday in Inkster, Michigan May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Jeralean Talley, the world's oldest woman, celebrated her 116th birthday on Saturday. But Talley, from Inkster, Detroit will have another birthday celebration on Sunday at her church, New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist, reported NBC Chicago.

Talley's birthday weekend began on Thursday, with a special greeting from President Barack Obama who sent his "warmest wishes" to the world's oldest woman, said Freep.com.

The president said in his letter to Talley, "The breadth of your experiences and depth of your wisdom reflect the long path our Nation has traveled since 1899. During this time, there have been setbacks and breakthroughs, false starts and improbable victories, and through it all our country's spirit has endured - strengthened and enriched by each generation."

Also on Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health on Human Services office in Inkster gave Talley a $116, or a dollar for every year of her life.

Asked about her secret to achieve long life, Talley said there's no secret but added, "There's nothing I can do about it."

Talley's godson, 21-year-old Tyler Kinloch who fishes with her said, "Her No. 1 rule is to treat people how you want to be treated. I definitely carry that with me every single day."

Friends and family of Talley said she always reminds them to "always do what's right," and that a person "can never, ever pray enough."

Thelma Halloway, 77, Talley's only child, said her mother still lives an active lifestyle and still plans to go on fishing this summer. Talley has bowled until she was 104 enjoyed gardening and mowing the lawn.

Halloway said, "She's still in her right mind. She's doing OK health wise."

Talley is still living in her home, although Halloway moved in with her about six-and-half years ago to help her maintain her home. But Talley can still move around on her home with the aid of a walker and spend most of the day napping. The past few years, Talley has been having a hard time hearing, Halloway said.

Last month, the Gerontology Research Group declared Talley as the oldest living person in the world followed by Susannah Jones of Brooklyn, New York, who turns 116 in July. Talley was born born in Montrose, Ga., in 1899 and moved to Michigan in the 1930s. Talley's husband died in 1988 at age 95.

"You're more likely to the win the lottery than to reach this age," said Robert Young of Gerontology Research, which keeps a list of the world's oldest people

Talley thanked his well-wishers, "I thank you very, very, very, very much."

Tags : Jerelean Talley, world's oldest women, 116th birthday, Gerontology Research Group, Thelma Halloway, Susannah Jones, robert young, Tyler Kinloch