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World's oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115

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BuffaloParrot
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« on: September 11, 2009, 06:49:04 pm »

World's oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115

  By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer John Rogers, Associated Press Writer   – 2 hrs 41 mins ago

LOS ANGELES – Although she liked her bacon crispy and her chicken fried, she never drank, smoked or fooled around, Gertrude Baines once said, describing a life that lasted an astonishing 115 years and earned her the title of oldest person on the planet.

It was a title Baines quietly relinquished Friday when she died in her sleep at Western Convalescent Hospital, her home since she gave up living alone at age 107 after breaking a hip.

She likely suffered a heart attack, said her longtime physician, Dr. Charles Witt, although an autopsy was scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

"I saw her two days ago, and she was just doing fine," Witt told The Associated Press on Friday. "She was in excellent shape. She was mentally alert. She smiled frequently."

Baines was born in Shellman, Ga., on April 6, 1894, when Grover Cleveland was in the White House, radio communication was just being developed and television was still more than a half-century from becoming a ubiquitous household presence.

She was 4 years old when the Spanish-American War broke out and 9 when the first World Series was played. She had already reached middle age by the time the U.S. entered World War II in 1941.

Throughout it all, Baines said last year, it was a life she thoroughly enjoyed.

"I'm glad I'm here. I don't care if I live a hundred more," she said with a hearty laugh after casting her vote for Barack Obama for president. "I enjoy nothing but eating and sleeping."

Her vote for Obama, she added, had helped fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing a black man elected president.

"We all the same, only our skin is dark and theirs is white," said Baines, who was black.

The centenarian, who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dormitories until her retirement, had outlived all of her family members. Her only daughter died of typhoid at age 18.

In her final years, she passed her days watching her favorite TV program, "The Jerry Springer Show," and consuming her favorite foods: bacon, fried chicken and ice cream. She complained often, however, that the bacon served to her was too soft.

"Two days ago, when I saw her, she was talking about the fact that the bacon wasn't crisp enough, that it was soggy," Witt said.

She became the world's oldest person in January when Maria de Jesus died in Portugal at 115.

The title brought with it a spotlight of attention, and Baines was asked frequently about the secret to a long life. She shrugged off such questions, telling people to ask God instead.

"She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around," Witt said at a party marking her 115th birthday.

At the party, Baines sat quietly, paying little attention as nursing home staffers and residents sang "Happy Birthday" and presented congratulatory notices from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others. But she laughed when told the Los Angeles Dodgers had given her a cooler filled with hot dogs.

With Baines' death, 114-year-old Kama Chinen of Japan becomes the world's oldest person, said Dr. L. Stephen Coles of the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks claims of extreme old age. Chinen was born May 10, 1895.

The oldest person who ever lived, Coles said, was Jeanne-Louise Calment, who was 122 when she died Aug. 4, 1997, in Arles, France.

___

Associated Press writer Solvej Schou contributed to this report.
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Ditty
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 07:14:02 pm »

That is amazing, 115!  We celebrated with a patient in long term care side that is 107! :o
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 09:16:57 pm »

Oh bless her heart. At one time I took care of a 106 year old man. His kids took him to disneyland for his 105 birthday and all he took for meds was a vitamin!
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 “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 02:36:04 am »

She sounds like she was a wonderful woman rich in history!
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BuffaloParrot
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 08:05:58 am »

One of me best buds Grandpa lived to be 101.  He drank a half a bottle of Jack Daniels a day and smoked Cigars, Hmm...
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 09:30:32 am »

I think lifespan has a lot to do with genetics...you see some folks who do everything right, and pass on younger. Then it seems like the meanest SOB"s who drank and smoked and lived hard last forever. Not to say abuse your self, but usually if mom and dad and grandparents lived long, its in the gene pool.
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 “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”
St. Francis of Assissi

My rescued and adopted feathered family...
Zebra Finches - The widow Mary Meeper & her new beau Joey Peepers, Leo and all the "kids"
The Quakes - Jade & Buddy & Ducky
"Sunday" Conure - Bella
Canary Wing Parakeets - Dexter and Morgan
The Budgies - Waldo, Wanda,  Pixie, and Violet
Fly high little Johnny Meeper  - flew to the Rainbow Bridge 1-6-2010
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 07:08:52 pm »

I agree with Jadesmom.
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BuffaloParrot
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 11:00:29 am »

The "new' oldest person that was born in the U.S. lives in Buffalo and was born in Iowa.  She is 114.  See, chicken wings aren't so bad for you after all coolsmiley.gif
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