Iowa Woman Believed to Be Oldest Person in US Dies at 115

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
January 15, 2023USshare
Iowa Woman Believed to Be Oldest Person in US Dies at 115
Bessie Laurena Hendricks (C) celebrates her 115th birthday in Des Moines, Iowa, in November 2022, in a still from video. (KCCI 8 News via AP)

LAKE CITY, Iowa—An Iowa woman who was believed to be the oldest living person in the United States has died at the age of 115.

Bessie Laurena Hendricks, of Lake City, died on Jan. 3 at the Shady Oaks Care Center, according to Lampe & Powers Funeral Home in Lake City. Hendricks celebrated her 115th birthday at the home on Nov. 7 and was listed last year by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group as the country’s oldest living person until her death.

Born in 1907 in west-central Iowa’s Calhoun County, Hendricks was alive to witness news of the sinking of the Titanic, World War I and II, the Great Depression, and both the Spanish flu and COVID-19 pandemics. She was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse there and the mother of five children, according to the Des Moines Register. She is survived by three of her children.

A funeral service for Hendricks was held at Lampe & Powers Funeral Home on Jan. 7.

The Gerontology Research Group reports that Hendrick’s death leaves 114-year-old Edie Ceccarelli of California as the country’s oldest living person.

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