Clearwater, FL – America’s oldest person, Elsie Thompson, has died at the grand old age of 113 years old.
Elsie, who was just two weeks away from her 114th birthday, passed away peacefully on March 21 at her home in Clearwater. She held the Guinness title as the oldest living person in the US, having inherited the record from Mamie Rearden in January.
Speaking to Today, friends and family recalled Elsie as an dynamic, animated individual. Rev. Michael Pestel, Thompson’s pastor at Skycrest United Methodist Church, said:
“Walking into a room with her in it was like walking into the sun. There was some deeper energy in her. She appreciated every moment of life. Anyone who got to spend time with her was amazed that someone so old was always so bright and vigorous.”
Pestel recalled Thompson’s 112th birthday celebration, which he attended two years ago, as being a happy, vibrant affair:
“When I showed up, it was kind of crazy. I came at the peak of the party, and we all couldn’t fit in her apartment – the local news was filming and she was the center of the room.”
Thompson reportedly thrived in the role of hostess, with son George saying she remained active until the last few months of her life. “She probably ate more than I did, even though she only weighed 105 pounds or so,” he recalled.
George also revealed he would receive mail for his mother stating her date of birth — April 5, 1899 — was wrong because the year was so peculiar. As George told Today, “It’s not often you meet anyone born in the 1800s anymore.”