She was born in the 19th century, witnessed two world wars and 20 US presidents, and voted for Barack Obama twice.
But Gertrude Weaver’s remarkable life came to an end on Monday, just five days after she became the world’s oldest woman at the age of 116.
The Arkansas supercentenarian died from pneumonia complications at the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Camden, where she had been living since 2014.
Weaver was born on July 4, 1898, to sharecropper parents in southwest Arkansas. She grew up picking cotton and later worked as a domestic helper for wealthy families.
She married Gennie Weaver in 1915 and they had four children together. They were married for 59 years until his death in 1974.
She outlived two of her children and all of her siblings. She had 12 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Weaver was a devout Christian who attended church regularly until she was 104. She said her faith was one of the secrets to her longevity.
She also credited her kindness, hard work and healthy eating habits. She told TIME magazine last year: ‘Treat people right and be nice to other people the way you want them to be nice to you.’
She added: ‘Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t overeat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.’
She said she avoided fast food places and cooked her own meals. She also enjoyed reading, quilting and watching TV.
Weaver became the world’s oldest person on April 1, after the death of Misao Okawa, a 117-year-old Japanese woman who was born in 1898.
She was verified by the Gerontology Research Group, which used census records and a marriage certificate to confirm her age.
She celebrated her milestone with a cake and a flower given to her by the staff at the nursing home. She also expressed her wish to have President Obama at her next birthday party.
She said: ‘He’s a good president. But I think his wife ought to give him more advice.’
Weaver was one of the last people alive who were born in the 1800s. She lived through some of the most significant events in history, such as the Titanic sinking, the Great Depression, the moon landing and the 9/11 attacks.
She also saw remarkable changes in technology, from the invention of cars, planes and TVs to the rise of the internet and smartphones.
With Weaver’s death, the oldest person in the world is now Jeralean Talley, who lives in Michigan. She was born on May 23, 1899.