Hester Ford, known as the oldest living American, has died at the age of 116. WCNC was the first to report that Ford had passed away at home, surrounded by her loved ones. She was the mother of 12 children, had 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and approximately 120 great-great-grandchildren.
Her great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe released a statement on the sad news. “It’s a sad day but it’s also a great day in heaven,” she says. “Although we’re saddened by it, we take great pride in the legacy that she does leave behind.”
Remembering the legacy of 116-year-old Hester Ford
Ford was born on August 15th, 1904, in Lancaster, South Carolina. She then lived in Charlotte, North Carolina in the same home for more than 58 years. It’s important to note that she lived through many major historical events, including the 1918 flu epidemic, so the COVID-19 pandemic was nothing new to her.
“She was a pillar and stalwart to our family and provided much needed love, support and understanding to us all,” a statement about Ford reads from the family. “She was the seed that sprouted leaves and branches which is now our family. God saw fit to make her the matriarch of your family and blessed us to be her caretakers and recipients of her legacy.”
We’ve come so far since Ford was born in 1904
“Her light shined beyond her local area and she lived beyond a century with memories containing real life experience of over 100 years,” the statement continues on. “She not only represented the advancement of our family but of the Black African American race and culture in our country. She was a reminder of how far we have come as people on this earth.”