A big birthday cake, a ton of birthday cards, and all of her surviving children. That's how an Iowa woman, the oldest living person in the United States, spent her birthday on Monday.

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Bessie Hendricks has celebrated a lot of birthdays over the years and Monday's party was held at the Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City, Iowa. It was Bessie's 115th birthday.

Bessie Sharkey, whose father was an immigrant from Ireland, was born on a Carroll County farm on November 7, 1907. She had five siblings and was forced to help raise some of them after her mother, Mattie, died of an illness when Bessie was just 13 years old.

In 1930, Bessie Sharkey married Paul Hendricks. The two were married just shy of 65 years when Paul passed away in 1995. During their time together, Bessie and Paul would have five children... Shirley, Joan, Roland (Ron), Glenda, and Leon. The three surviving children were there to celebrate with Bessie on Monday as she enjoyed her big day.

Gerontology says Bessie Hendricks has nine grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 42 great-great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-great-grandchildren. Simply incredible.

In addition to being the oldest living person in the United States, Hendricks is also the fourth-oldest living person in the world. Those older than Hendricks (ages are as of November 8, 2022) are:

  1. Lucile Randon (118 years and 270 days) of France.
  2. Maria Branyas Morera (born in San Francisco, California: 115 years, 249 days) of Spain.
  3. Fusa Tatsumi (115 years, 197 days) of Japan.

The ten oldest living people in the world are all women.

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