LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Just days after becoming the world’s oldest documented person, 116-year-old Gertrude Weaver died Monday in Arkansas.
Weaver became the oldest person in the world after the death of a 117-year-old Japanese woman last week, according to records kept by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. Weaver was born in 1898.
The Williams Funeral Home confirmed Weaver died just after 10 a.m. Monday at the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Camden, about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock.
Camden Mayor Marie Trisollini chatted with Weaver last week when the supercentenarian’s roommate celebrated her 100th birthday.
“She was a really sweet lady. She was relatively perky and coherent when I talked with her before the party,” Trisollini said. “When you asked for advice on how to live a long life she would say, ‘Use a lot of skin moisturizer, treat everyone nice, love your neighbor and eat your own cooking. Don’t eat at fast food places.'”
The Research Group was able to verify Weaver’s age using census records and a marriage certificate from 1915 that listed her age as 17. Other records pointed to a possible April birthday, but since those could not be confirmed, the group used the day Weaver had always celebrated her birthday — July 4.
Trisollini said the nursing home and several members of the community had been making plans for Weaver’s 117th birthday party.
Weaver, who was born in southwest Arkansas to sharecropper parents, told nursing home staff last week that she wanted to invite President Barack Obama because she had voted for him twice.