Edna Parker

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Edna Parker
Edna Parker.JPG
Edna Parker in 2007 at age 114
Born Edna Ruth Scott
(1893-04-20)April 20, 1893
Morgan County, Indiana,
United States
Died (2008-11-26)November 26, 2008
(aged 115 years, 220 days)
Shelbyville, Indiana,
United States
Resting place Shelbyville's Miller Cemetery
Education Franklin College
Occupation Former teacher
Known for Oldest recognized person in the world, from August 13, 2007 to November 26, 2008
Spouse(s) Earl Parker
(lived: 1884–1939,
married: 1913–1939) {deceased}
Children Clifford (1913–1998)
Earl Jr. (1919–1985)
Edna Parker (signature).png

Edna Ruth Parker (née Scott)[1] (April 20, 1893 – November 26, 2008) was an American supercentenarian and, until her death, was recognized as the oldest person in the world following the death of Yone Minagawa of Japan on August 13, 2007.[2]


Parker was born in 1893, on a farm in Shelby County, Indiana, near Bengal in Hendricks township and raised eating a typical farm diet of meat and starch. She attended Franklin High School, then took classes at Franklin College to obtain a teaching certificate. Parker taught at a two-room schoolhouse in Smithland for several years, until she married her next door neighbor, Earl Parker, on April 12, 1913.[3][non-primary source needed] Earl died on February 23, 1939. They had two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr.,[4][non-primary source needed] both of whom she outlived.[5] As of April 2008, she had five grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and thirteen great-great-grandchildren. Her two sisters also are deceased; Georgia lived to be 99, while her sister Opal died at age 88.

Later years[edit]

Parker lived alone on a farm on Blueridge Road after her husband had died when she was 45. She remained there until 1993, aged 100 when, still in very strong health, she moved in with her oldest son Clifford. One winter night, she was left alone while Clifford and his wife went to a basketball game. When they returned, she was in the back yard, unconscious, in the snow, and visible in the poor light only because she was wearing her favorite red sweater. Her family feared her death, but medics arrived and she made a full recovery except for only mild injuries. Afterwards it was decided that she needed to move to a nursing home.[6]

Final years[edit]

Until her death, Parker lived at Heritage House Convalescent Center, a retirement community in Shelbyville, Indiana. On April 21, 2007, at the age of 114, she met with the 2nd-oldest Indiana inhabitant and then 5th-oldest living person in the world, Bertha Fry. Fry, who lived in Muncie, was 113 at the time, which set the highest combined age for a meeting of two supercentenarians, at 227 years 142 days. Parker lived in the same home as Sandy Allen, the tallest living woman verified by Guinness World Records, until Allen's death on August 13, 2008.[7] Parker enjoyed reading and reciting poetry, especially the works of James Whitcomb Riley, and according to family liked to quote his poetry to visitors.[6] She read the newspaper every day, enjoyed cards from well-wishers, and often sent autographs to people asking for them. In 2007, she received a letter from President George W. Bush on her 114th birthday, who thanked her for “sharing her wisdom and experiences” with younger generations.[6] Also at that time, she was given the key to the city of Shelbyville from the Mayor, and was visited by the state Governor and Senator.

The Heritage House Convalescent Center planned two separate birthday parties to celebrate her 115th birthday. At each one they released one hundred fifteen multicolored balloons, because she enjoyed watching balloons float into the sky[citation needed]. The public celebration was on April 18, 2008, while the private family one was on April 20, 2008, her actual birthday. Parker died at her nursing home in Indiana, around 5:19PM EST on Wednesday November 26, 2008, at age 115 years 220 days.[8][9] Parker is buried in Shelbyville's Miller Cemetery.[10] After her death, a Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus took over as the world's oldest person.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Governor meets with country's two oldest, both Hoosiers Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ World's oldest person, Yone Minagawa, dies at 114 Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. – Japan News Review.
  3. ^ Source Citation: Title: Shelby County, Indiana, Index To Marriage Record 1856–1920 Inclusive Vol, W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: 21;Page: 24
  4. ^ 1920 US Census; Place: Needham, Johnson, Indiana; Roll: T625_442; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 138; Image: 133.
  5. ^ "Indiana Woman Now World's Oldest Person". 2007-08-14. 
  6. ^ a b c Denied:1up! Software
  7. ^ Governor pays weekend visit to honor Edna's 114th birthday[dead link]
  8. ^ a b "World's Oldest Person Dies at 115". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  9. ^ "World's oldest person dies at 115". BBC News. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Edna Parker". The Shelbyville News. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2009-04-07. [dead link]

External links[edit]