U.S. woman now the oldest person in the world

Gertrude Weaver shares her secret to a long life

CAMDEN, AR (KARK) – “I’ve been here long.” Long is an understatement for Gertrude Weaver. “Yeah, how do I look?”

Born in 1898, near Texarkana, Arkansas, Gertrude spent most of her life as a housekeeper, a wife and mother to four children. At 116-years-old, she’s gaining a new title; the world’s oldest person. “I feel good,” said Gertrude.

An honor family members say comes from a higher being.

Gradie Welch, Gertrude’s granddaughter, said, “The plan that he had for her life was to live a long life and to get the recognition that she’s getting today.”

Gertrude is even proud to admit she’s checked off everything on her bucket list. Gradie said, “I think she has accomplished them all with the exception of going to join God.” It’s a conversation Gradie says her grandmother talks about all the time; “That she’s ready whenever he comes, she’s ready to go.”

Reflecting on all her years, Gertrude has fond memories of family, gardening, quilting, and cooking, especially pies. But this isn’t her secret to a long life. “Hard work, love God, put him first in everything, and love one another,” Gradie said.

Gertrude said, “I thank God for that, (yes that she’s still alive) I’m still alive.” And Gertrude is just as thankful to meet future generations; “Just to see you all live to see me live this long…”

Gertrude turns 117 on July 4, 2015, and she says, if she could do it all again she wouldn’t change a thing.

Copyright 2015 CNN & KARK

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