052514 Michigan Woman Turns 115

Jeralean Talley

At 115 years old, Jeralean Talley’s life spans parts of three centuries. And despite a little knee pain, shaky hands, and hearing and memory loss, she’s still pretty much in good health

“I don’t feel sick,” says Talley, who gets around with the help of a walker.

The Michigan supercentenarian – someone who lives beyond 110-years-old  – is the oldest living American and second-oldest person in the world according to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks many of the world’s longest-living people. Many wonder what Talley does to live so long.

“It’s all in the good Lord’s hands,” she says every time she’s asked. “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

My older family members used to say remaining active was part of the secret. And indeed, Talley does just that. Talley bowled until she was 104, and she went fishing last year. She also attends church when she can, and she plays with her 14-month-old great-great grandson.

But Sunday, she’s going to take it easy. She plans to celebrate her birthday with friends and family at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.


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