Sammy Nickalls
Updated May 22, 2015 @ 10:30 am

It’s the birthday of the world’s oldest living person: Jeralean Talley, from Inkster, Michigan. She’s turning 116. Yep, you read that right. Earlier this month, Jeralean, right here in America, was verified as the world’s oldest living person. Sadly, the previous holder of that title, Gertrude Weaver, passed on April 6th at 116.

Jeralean, known as “Mother Talley,” was born in Georgia, at the very tail end of the 19th century on May 23, 1899, according to FOX Detroit. When she was 36, she moved to Michigan and has been there ever since, living up her life. And man, has she seen a lot of things. She’s been alive during the 19th, 20th, and now 21st century, and witnessed two World Wars, the Great Depression and the civil rights movement.

Married for 52 years to Alfred Talley, who passed away in 1988, she’s the mother of one daughter, the grandma of three, the great-grandma of 10 and the great-great-grandma of four. Talk about impressive.

Also impressive? Her life motto: “I want to treat everybody the way I want to be treated. If I give you any advice that same advice comes back to me,” she told reporters on her 114th birthday, two years ago.

Her daughter, Thelma Holloway, grew up with her mother’s wisdom. “She told me that when someone offers you something — even if you don’t need it or want it — take it with a smile,” Holloway told the Lansing State Journal.

Jeralean loves going to church, fishing, and bowling. . . the latter of which she kept on doing until she was 104 years old. She also sews, makes quilts and just loves kicking back and eating a good home-cooked meal.

“Every day is a gift from above,” Jeralean told The Detroit News.

At a pre-birthday party held for her earlier this week, Jeralean partied it up with Mayor Hillard Hampton and the crowd, enjoying cake and a few laughs.

During the celebration, Jeralean was given $116 in cash. . . as well as a gift from President Obama himself. It was a personal letter that Jerelean read to the crowd: “In all you have seen and everything that you have achieved over the course of your more than 11 decades, you have been an important part of the great unending story that is America.”

We agree with the President 100%. Happy 116th birthday, Jeralean! Here’s to 116 more!

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