Oldest American, Maime Rearden, is dead at 114

President William McKinney was president of the United States when Mamie Rearden was born more than 114 years ago.

The South Carolina mother of 11 children was ranked as the oldest known living American for just over two weeks before she passed, her daughter said on Saturday.

Mamie Rearden died on Wednesday at a hospital in Augusta, Ga., about 20 miles south of her South Carolina home, her youngest daughter, Sara Rearden, told Reuters.

Rearden, despite her age, was only the second oldest person in the world. A Japanese man, Jiroemon Kimura, is 115, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Rearden had recently broken her hip and was having difficulty breathing earlier in the week, her daughter said, adding, “I was looking right at her when she took her last breath.”

Rearden was born on September 7, 1898, in Edgefield, South Carolina, where she was raised and lived all her life, her daughter said. She was a school teacher early in life, but after getting married and starting a family she left the job to become a homemaker, and went on to have 11 children in all.

Some interesting facts on her life:

  • Rearden obtained her first driver’s license at age 65;
  • She became a case worker for an anti-poverty program at the same age;
  • Rearden’s husband, Oacy Rearden, died in 1979 at the age of 88.
  • Rearden lived by her Baptist faith, her daughter said.

“She was the type who would say, ‘Do unto others as you want them to do by you,’ and later she changed that, which is interesting, to ‘do unto others as they ought to do by you,'” Sara Rearden said.

Rearden became the oldest known living person in the United States after the Dec. 17 death of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini in Iowa. At the time of her death, Manfredini also ranked as the world’s oldest person, according to Guinness World Records.


Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.

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