116-year life: Jeralean Talley Dies 116

Published: June 19, 2015

116-year life: Jeralean Talley Dies 116, The spotlight on Jeralean Talley’s life increased as she grew older then was named the oldest living person in the world.

The 116-year-old woman died at her Inkster home Wednesday night.

Her prayer was always not to suffer, her longtime friend Michael Kinloch said.

“God certainty answered her prayer,” he said.

Talley, deeply religious and a member of New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, turned 116 on May 23. Her life spanned parts of three centuries.

She was born in 1899 and lived by this motto: Treat people how you want to be treated.

“Just remember her as being a very beautiful, forgiving person,” said her daughter Thelma Holloway, 77.

Talley had been in the hospital for a week and came home Saturday, she said.

“She went away peacefully,” Holloway said.

Talley reached the top spot on a list of the world’s oldest people kept by the Gerontology Research Group in April. She far outlived the average U.S. life expectancy, 78.8 years.

Talley was born in Montrose, Ga., and moved to Michigan in the 1930s. Her husband of 52 years, Alfred Talley, died in 1988. They had one child. Talley is survived by a daughter and three generations of grandchildren.

She was often asked her secret to living so long, and her answer remained the same over the years. Talley credited the Lord and said, “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

She lived an active life and went fishing every summer. Talley gardened and mowed the lawn late into her life and bowled until she was 104.

Funeral services will be held June 27 at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.

Susannah Mushatt Jones, who was born on July 6, 1899, and lives in New York, now takes the top spot on the research group’s list of oldest living people.

The oldest person ever to live was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who was born in 1875 and died in 1997. She lived 122 years and 164 days, according to Guinness World Records.


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