Elsie Thompson death: America's oldest person dies peacefully in her Florida condo just weeks before her 114th birthday
By Meghan Keneally and Helen Pow
PUBLISHED: 11:01 EST, 1 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:07 EST, 1 April 2013
America's oldest person has passed away in her Clearwater, Florida, home, just weeks before her 114th birthday.
Born on April 5, 1899, Elsie Calvert Thompson was the fourth-oldest person in the world. She died peacefully on March 21 and her family held a memorial service in Clearwater. Her ashes will be buried in Pennsylvania, next to her late husband.
Thompson's only child George Thompson, 72, said she died as he flew from his home in California to see her. She had congestive heart failure.
Aging nicely: Mrs Thompson (left) looks like she hasn't aged at all in the past 14 years, pictured here dancing with a friend in 1999
'She had such a big heart,' he told The Tampa Bay Times on Sunday. 'She was such a large person.'
Thompson was born during the administration of President William McKinley and just a year after the close of the Spanish-American War.
She was a stylish dresser who enjoyed ballroom dancing until shortly before her death. She also loved to sing and play the piano, the Times reported.
Thompson had been in the record books for her remarkable age for four years before she won the distinguished title of being the oldest living American.
She always loved entertaining and welcoming to visitors, but she wasn't able to celebrate earning her new title in January as she has been advised to avoid outside contact because of the flu epidemic.
Those steps are seen as wise by many, as two of the previous title-holders died as a result of infections last month.
Long life: On the brink of her 114th birthday, Elsie Calvert Thompson, pictured, died peacefully in her Florida apartment
Big milestone: Elsie Thompson is 113-years and 299-days old (seen here on her latest birthday), making her the oldest living American
Both 116-year-old Besse Cooper and 115-year-old Dina Manfredini died in December.
Reporters from The Tampa Bay Times met with Thompson on her 111th, 112th, and 113th birthdays, but the flu precautions kept them away when she earned her title recently.
Thompson was known for having a zest for life that many did not expect of someone her age.
'You'll say, "Elsie, honey, you wanna get up?" And she'll say, "You betcha." Sometimes she'll talk and talk,' Susie Harper, one of Mrs Thompson's three caregivers, said of the woman in January.
Harper had worked with Thompson for the past 13 years as she continued to live in her own condominium in Clearwater, Florida as opposed to an assisted living facility.
'Sometimes when she's tired, she doesn't want to say anything. But she has a happy and uplifting spirit about her,' Ms Harper told The Tampa Bay Times.
Thompson is one of the only 14 people left on Earth who were on the planet during the 19th century.
In the record books: Dina Manfredini (left) died due to infection last month at the age of 115, while Japan's Jiroemon Kimura (right) remains the world's oldest person at 115 as well
Thompson stopped traveling to California to visit her son and his family son time before her death.
He initially pushed for her to move to be nearer to him and his family when his father- her longtime husband- died in 1986, but she opted to stay in Florida.
'It has continued to work because she's well taken care of,' he told The Tampa Bay Times in January.
'It's a different world here, and she's so familiar with everything there. You should see how she gets around her apartment. She knows exactly where everything is.'
Headlines Newsview all
Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day
A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story
Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter
An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story
Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'
A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- General Election 2015: Ukip manifesto says veterans will be re-trained as immigration officers
- The Lib Dems say they would do a coalition deal with either Labour or the Tories to stay in government
- General Election 2015: Lib Dems pledge to protect education spending
John Travolta refuses to watch new Scientology documentary 'Going Clear', says the religion is 'beautiful'
John Travolta has dismissed a critically acclaimed documentary about Scientology as "negative". The Grease actor, who has been a member of the church since 1975, has ...
A plane returning from the NCAA Championship basketball tournament in Illinois, carrying local businessmen and two of the state university’s sports heads crashed on Tuesday, ...
Walter Scott shooting: Everything the police said prior to death video surfacing of black man's shooting by white officer Michael Slager
A video (below) emerged yesterday of white North Charleston police officer Michael Slager at worst shooting unarmed, defenceless black man Walter Scott dead, and at ...
Shell has agreed to buy BG Group, Britain's third-largest energy company in a takeover bid worth £47 billion takeover bid in one of the biggest ...
David Cameron is using hair dye to “reverse the ageing process”, Nigel Farage has claimed. Speaking on a visit to Dudley in the West Midlands the ...
Thousands of Turkish students have petitioned their university to build a Jedi temple, in response to an increase in the number of mosques being built ...
There are a few things you’d never expect Adam Richman to say. Some of those came out in written form on an Instagram post last year. ...
Ferguson election: St Louis suburb elects two new black councillors months after Michael Brown shooting
In its first municipal election since the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown, the St Louis suburb of Ferguson has elected two new African-American council ...
China is to start documenting "uncivilised" behaviour from its tourists overseas for up to two years after a spate of incidents it said made the ...
Hundreds of flights across Europe have been cancelled because of a strike by French air-traffic controllers. Members of the SNCTA union are stopping work today ...