LAKE CITY, Iowa — Bessie Hendricks, believed to be the oldest person in the United States, has died at the age of 115.
Hendricks passed away Jan. 3 at the nursing home where she lived in Lake City, Iowa, according to an obituary.
She was the oldest person living in the United States until her death, according to the Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles, which keeps a tally of supercentenarians, or people who live to 110 and beyond. (It mistakenly lists Hendricks' date of death as Jan. 3, 2022.)
The Shady Oaks Care Center, where Hendricks lived, shared photos of Bessie on Facebook in November for her 115th birthday.
She was born Nov. 7, 1907, taught in a one-room schoolhouse in her small Iowa county and raised five children, according to the Des Moines Register. Lake City is about 100 miles northwest of Iowa's capital city.
In an interview with the Fort Dodge Messenger for her 112th birthday, Hendricks and her family said her secrets to a long life included hard work, staying away from doctors and never passing on a slice of pie.
There may be something in the water in Iowa: Dina Manfredini, who held the title of world's oldest person for two weeks in 2012 and died at 115, was also from Iowa.
Hendricks' status as the oldest person in the United States now goes to Edie Ceccarelli, who is just a month shy of her 115th birthday. An American-born woman who lives in Spain, Maria Branyas Morera, is believed to be the oldest living American -- she will turn 116 in March.
The oldest person in the world, Lucile Randon of France, will turn 119 in February.