Nationwide — Elizabeth Francis, an African American woman from Houston, Texas, who has just turned 114 years old, has now become not just the oldest person in her state, but also the second-oldest living person in the entire country.
“She is the oldest in Texas, the oldest living person in Texas, number two in the United States, number seven in the world, and number two in the world who lives at home. You live in your castle,” said Ben Meyers, a researcher who tracks people’s lifespans worldwide, according to ABC13.
Born in 1909, during President William Taft’s tenure, Francis witnessed profound historical changes. She lived through periods of World Wars, segregation, and 2 pandemics, although her memory has faded on most of these events.
When it comes to lifestyle choices, Francis said she likes to keep it simple. No drinking or smoking, but she doesn’t hold back when it comes to food.
Her granddaughter Ethel Harrison also believes her careful attention to what she put into her body played a significant role in her longevity.
“She always grew her vegetables in the backyard. I never saw her go to a fast food restaurant much as like Chick-fil-A and all the places I liked to go. She never did that. Whenever you went to her house, I don’t care what day of the week, she was cooking. So, I just think that had a lot to do with it, too. Just how she took care of her body and things like that,” Harrison said.
With three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren, longevity seems to run in the family for Francis. Her sister lived to be 106, her daughter is now 94, and her granddaughter who serves as her caregiver is 68.
But what truly matters to Francis and her family is not fame, but the bonds they share.
“It’s hard to believe, but it’s a blessing.” her daughter Dorothy Williams said. “Because she has been a wonderful mother and grandmother to all of us. She has been our backbone.”
When asked about the secret to her long life, Elizabeth humbly attributes it to divine blessings. She said, “This is a blessing, the Lord’s blessing.”
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