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Iowa woman celebrates 115th birthday

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At 115 years of age, Bessie Hendricks has lived through some things. Twenty-one presidents. Two world wars. A depression. The sinking of the Titanic. And even two Chicago Cubs World Series championships (1908 and 2016). According to the Gerontology Research Group, she is the oldest person living in the United States and the fourth oldest person in the world. “I don’t know how you put it into words,” said her daughter, Joan Schaffer, who turned 90 a day earlier. “It’s marvelous that we still have her.” All three of Hendricks’ surviving children joined her for a birthday party at Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City. They all highlighted what a hard worker she was. “Her mother died when she was about 13,” Schaffer said. “I think mom was about 13 years old. And she raised her siblings after that.” The siblings sang to their mom, held hands and enjoyed a moment few in the world ever have. “She’s always caring about her family,” said Leon Hendricks, her son. “She always did that. Family came first to mom. Always.”

At 115 years of age, Bessie Hendricks has lived through some things.

Twenty-one presidents. Two world wars. A depression. The sinking of the Titanic. And even two Chicago Cubs World Series championships (1908 and 2016).

According to the Gerontology Research Group, she is the oldest person living in the United States and the fourth oldest person in the world.

“I don’t know how you put it into words,” said her daughter, Joan Schaffer, who turned 90 a day earlier. “It’s wonderful that we still have her.”

All three of Hendricks’ surviving children joined her for a birthday party at Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City.

They all highlighted what a hard worker she was.

“Her mother died when she was about 13,” Schaffer said. “I think mom was about 13 years old. And she raised her siblings after that.”

The siblings sang to their mom, held hands and enjoyed a moment few in the world ever have.

“She’s always caring about her family,” said Leon Hendricks, her son. “She always did that. Family came first to mom. Always.”

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