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South Carolina native is oldest living American and she's celebrating her 116th birthday

At 116 years old, Hester Ford has now lived through two pandemics: The 1918 Flu Pandemic and the 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Oldest American living in Charlotte turns 116-years-old

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The oldest living American is set to celebrate her 116th birthday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hester Ford will ring in another year older from her home in the Queen City, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, her grandkids are making sure she has the celebration she deserves.  Mary Hill and Clayton Harris, two of Ford’s grandkids, said they have planned a giant drive-thru celebration for their granny this weekend. 

“We are doing a re-do of 115 and celebrating 116 coming into,” Hill said. “So we are excited about the cars coming back in and just acknowledging her and letting them know that we love her.”  Ford has been living in the same home in Charlotte for more than 58 years.  "We are just glad to be apart of the fabric of Dalebrook and of Charlotte, North Carolina," Hill said.  Her family said she's lived in the same home for more than 50 years because [Charlotte] is home.  "Her church is 5 minutes away, she loves her church," Hill said. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Ford to stay inside her home and miss church, which had always been her favorite place to go. Credit: Macedonia Baptist Church of Charlotte “She usually calls once a month the first Sunday of the month, but with the virus. She hasn't been able to go,” Hill said. So they always send CDs and the deacons come and give her communion.”  Hill said her grandmother has received so much love and support from, not only her blood family but also her church family. “Just the love, the outpouring of love is so important,” Harris said. “Yes, you know, we thank God for that. Just being able to embrace that love." Ford’s grandchildren said their granny understands what’s happening in the world right now. In fact, this not new to her. Ford was alive during the 1918 Flu pandemic.  “She said this kind of reminds her of that time back then,” Hill said. “She just said she remembers that a lot of people were sick.”  Hill said Ford's mother would help take care of her sick neighbors during the pandemic. 

That's my grandmother’s spirit,” Hill said. 

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