Maggie Renfro

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Maggie Mae Thornton Renfro
Born (1895-11-14)November 14, 1895
Athens, Bienville Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died January 22, 2010(2010-01-22)
(aged 114 years, 69 days)
Minden, Webster Parish
Louisiana
Cause of death
Pneumonia
Occupation Homemaker
Known for

Supercentenarian

title_ Oldest living African-American (September 11, 2009 – January 22, 2010)

Maggie Mae Thornton Renfro (November 14, 1895 – January 22, 2010) was an American supercentenarian who was, at 114, the third-oldest living person in the United States and the oldest person in Louisiana [1] until her death on January 22, 2010. Renfro was also the fourth-oldest person in the world and the oldest African-American person from the death of Gertrude Baines, until her own passing.[2][3] Renfro claimed she was born in 1894, which would have made her the oldest person in the world at the time of her death.[3] The United States Census of 1900, however, places her as a four-year-old, born in November 1895; the 1910 census lists Renfro as aged 14 in April 1910, meaning she was born in 1895.[1] Her social security record also listed her as born on November 14, 1895.

She was born in Athens in southern Claiborne Parish, Louisiana,[2] the fourth of eleven children of Wylie and Dellie Thornton. At the age of 19, she became a cook for a road crew. Soon afterward, she moved to Madisonville, the seat of Madison County east of Bryan, Texas, and later to Houston, where she met her husband Rudy. The two had no children, and, following his death in 1971, Renfro moved to Minden, the seat of Webster Parish, near her native Athens, where she lived until her death. [3] She attributed her longevity to being "a good servant for God." "Love everybody; treat everybody right," she once said. She also never drank nor smoked. Renfro enjoyed good health even in advancing age according to her niece and caretaker, Mattie Ellis. "I feel good," Renfro said in December 2007. "Nothing hurts me right now, and I'm not sick."[2]

Renfro had two sisters who lived to be centenarians, Carrie Lee Thornton Miller (April 9, 1902 – January 5, 2010), aged 107 at her death, and Rosie Lee Thornton Warren (January 6, 1906 – December 18, 2009), aged 103. Rosie and Carrie had died only eighteen days apart. On November 8, 2009, Renfro and her sisters were recognized in a ceremony hosted by Cultural Crossroads at the Minden Civic Center. They had the oldest combined age of three living siblings at 324 years.[4] Like Renfro, Rosie lived in the care of relatives in Minden, while Carrie lived in an extensive care hospital in Shreveport.[2]

Only 17 days after the death of her sister Carrie, Maggie Renfro died of pneumonia at the age of 114 years and 69 days on January 22, 2010. Following her death, Daisey Bailey became the oldest living person of African descent.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vickie Welborn (November 14, 2007). "Minden woman, 112, is state's oldest living person". Shreveport Times. Retrieved December 10, 2007. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Associated Press (November 14, 2007). "Minden woman believed to be state's oldest living person". KTBS. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c "A Lot of Life Experience: Maggie Renfro turns 113 years old". Minden Press-Herald. November 14, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  4. ^ Jeff Ferrell (November 9, 2009). "Record-breaking Thornton Sisters". KSLA. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 

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