VIDEO: Oldest Living American to Celebrate 116th Birthday with Parade

The oldest living American will celebrate her 116th birthday on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a festive parade.

Hester Ford was born on August 15, 1904, in Lancaster, South Carolina, when Theodore Roosevelt had been elected to a second term as president, according to WBNS.

The outlet continued:

She worked on a farm where she not only planted and picked cotton but plowed the field and cut wood. Ford was married and the couple had 12 children; eight girls and four boys. She moved to Charlotte in 1953 where she worked for more than 20 years as a nanny for two families in Myers Park. She has 12 children, 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-grandchildren.

For a long time, Ford thought her birthday was in 1905, but 2019 Census Bureau documents showed she was born in 1904.

“Ford is now the oldest person in the country, and the seventh oldest person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group,” the WBNS article read.

To celebrate the big day, grandchildren Mary Hill and Clayton Harris planned a drive-thru party for their beloved grandmother.

“We are doing a re-do of 115 and celebrating 116 coming into,” Hill explained, adding, “So we are excited about the cars coming back in and just acknowledging her and letting them know that we love her.”

The coronavirus pandemic was nothing new to Ford since she lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, according to her grandkids.

“She said this kind of reminds her of that time back then. She just said she remembers that a lot of people were sick,” Hill commented, adding that Ford’s mother cared for her ill neighbors at the time.

“That’s my grandmother’s spirit,” she noted.

Ford received much love and care from her church family and relatives during the current pandemic.

“Just the love, the outpouring of love is so important,” Harris stated. “Yes, you know, we thank God for that. Just being able to embrace that love.”

Both grandchildren said they were very blessed to have spent so many years with their grandmother and urged others with elderly relatives to make them feel appreciated.

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

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