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Oldest person in the U.S.? Iowa woman passes away

By Lee Cleveland - January 6, 2023

Iowa’s Bessie Laurena Hendricks, who was believed to be the oldest living person in the U.S., died Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at the age of 115.

In the above image, she’s third from right to left and in a wheelchair. (Image is courtesy of KCCI 8 News via AP)

Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group listed Hendricks, who celebrated her 115th birthday at the home on Nov. 7, as the country’s oldest living person until her death.

Born in 1907 in west-central Iowa’s Calhoun County, Hendricks certainly witnessed tremendous technological advancements and many momentous events in her lifetime.

According to the Des Moines Register, she spent most of her work life as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa.

Mrs. Hendricks was the mother of five children, two of which preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be held at Lampe & Powers Funeral Home on Saturday.

The Gerontology Research Group reports that Hendrick’s death leaves 114-year-old Edie Ceccarelli of California as the country’s oldest living person.