Edna Parker

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Edna Parker
Edna Parker.JPG
Edna Parker in 2007 at age 114
BornEdna 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 placeShelbyville's Miller Cemetery
EducationFranklin College
OccupationFormer teacher
Known forOldest recognized person in the world, from August 13, 2007 to November 26, 2008
Spouse(s)Earl Parker
(lived: 1884–1939,
married: 1913–1939) {deceased}
ChildrenClifford (1913–1998)
Earl Jr. (1919–1985)
Signature
Edna Parker (signature).png

Edna Ruth Parker (née Scott)[1] (April 20, 1893 – November 26, 2008) was an American supercentenarian who, for fifteen months, was recognized as the oldest person in the world. She featured in two documentaries and was included in a Boston University DNA database of supercentenarians.

Biography[edit]

Parker was born in 1893, on a farm in Shelby County, Indiana, and raised eating a typical farm diet of meat and starch. She attended Franklin Senior High School, then took classes at Franklin College to obtain a teaching certificate. Parker taught at a two-room schoolhouse in Smithland for a few years, until she married her next door neighbor, Earl Parker, on April 12, 1913.[2][3] Earl died on February 23, 1939. They had two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr.,[4] both of whom she outlived.[5] Her two sisters predeceased her, one dying aged 99 and the other at 88.[6] At the time of her death, Parker had five grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and thirteen great-great-grandchildren.[7]

Parker lived alone on a farm from the age of 45, when her husband died, until 1993, aged 100 when, still in very strong health, she lived briefly with her son Clifford, before moving to a nursing home at Heritage House Convalescent Center, a retirement community in Shelbyville, Indiana.[8] Until her death, Parker read the newspaper every day and enjoyed reading and reciting poetry, especially the works of James Whitcomb Riley, and according to family liked to quote his poetry to visitors.[9]

Final years[edit]

While Parker's 100th birthday was celebrated by her family and recognised in the local newspaper,[10] by the time she reached 109, the occasion was noted state-wide.[8] On her 111th birthday in 2004, she received accolades from both the state governor and the president.[11] The Boston University New England Centenarian Study took a sample of Parker's DNA in 2006, as part of a study of the genetics of extreme longevity.[5] In January 2007, Parker became the oldest person in the United States,[12] and seven months later, following the death of Yone Minagawa of Japan on August 13, 2007, she became the oldest person in the world. The occasion is recorded as a "Moment of Indiana History".[13] Parker featured in an episode of Mark Dolan's documentary The World's ... and Me in 2008,[14] and in another documentary called How to Live Forever, released in 2009.[15] On her 114th birthday, she received a letter from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who thanked her for “sharing her wisdom and experiences” with younger generations,[16] received the key to the city of Shelbyville from the Mayor, and was visited by the state Governor and Senator.[17] On April 21, 2007, she met with Bertha Fry of Muncie, who was 113 at the time,[18] which set the highest combined age (227 years 142 days) for a meeting of two supercentenarians; both were awarded certificates in person by a representative of Guinness World Records.[19] 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.[20] Parker reportedly did not offer an explanation for her long life, and simply advised questioners that the most important thing was "more education".[18]

The Heritage House Convalescent Center planned two parties to celebrate her 115th birthday, a public celebration one and a private family one. One hundred fifteen multicolored balloons were released at each, because Parker enjoyed watching them float into the sky.[21] Parker was included in a book for children, Girls are Best (2009), as the oldest woman in the world.[22] She died at her nursing home seven months after her birthday, on November 26, 2008, aged 115 years 220 days. Her death was reported around the world.[23][24][25] Parker is buried in Shelbyville's Miller Cemetery.[26] After her death, a Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus became the world's oldest person.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Governor meets with country's two oldest, both Hoosiers Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "Parker-Scott". The Evening Star. Franklin, Indiana: 3. 14 April 1913. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ 1920 US Census; Place: Needham, Johnson, Indiana; Roll: T625_442; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 138; Image: 133.
  5. ^ a b Callahan, Rick (19 April 2008). "World's oldest known person, 115, could hold answers". The Tennessean: A3. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Indiana Woman Now World's Oldest Person". 2007-08-14.
  7. ^ a b "World's Oldest Person Dies at 115". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Zogg, Jeff (20 April 2002). "109-year-old says she doesn't feel old yet". The Indianapolis Star: 15. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  9. ^ Eddings, Cordell (3 February 2007). "Just a very thankful farm girl". The Indianapolis Star: A1, A9. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  10. ^ Jones, Annette (17 April 1993). "Area resident celebrates 100th birthday with party". The Daily Journal. Franklin, Indiana: 16. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  11. ^ Talbert, Steve (1 May 2004). "111-year-old won't give away secret". The Indianapolis Star: 116. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Indiana woman is nation's oldest". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky: B5. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  13. ^ Ksander, Yael (5 November 2007). "Edna Parker". Moment of Indiana History. Indiana Public Media. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  14. ^ "The World's ... and Me". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  15. ^ Burr, Ty (19 August 2011). "How to Live Forever Far more than the same old, same old". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Oldest American celebrates 114th birthday". The Call-Leader. Elwood, Indiana: 5. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  17. ^ Koch, Gail (22 April 2007). "Country's oldest women, both Hoosiers, meet". The Star Press. Muncie, Indiana: 1. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  18. ^ a b Gillers, Heather (28 November 2008). "At 115, she was the oldest person in the world". The Indianapolis Star: A15. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  19. ^ Higgins, Will (22 April 2007). "Record for the ages". The Indianapolis Star: B1, B5. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  20. ^ Governor pays weekend visit to honor Edna's 114th birthday[dead link]
  21. ^ Callahan, Rick (19 April 2008). "Long, full life: World's oldest person nears 115". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky: B1, B3. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  22. ^ Toksvig, Sandi (2009). Girls Are Best. Random House. p. 12. ISBN 9781862304291.
  23. ^ Strange, Hannah (28 November 2008). "World's oldest person, Edna Parker, dies at 115". The Times. London. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  24. ^ "World's oldest person dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Zemřela Edna Parker (+115) - nejstarší člověk světa". Blesk. Prague, Czechia. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Edna Parker". The Shelbyville News. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2009-04-07.[dead link]

External links[edit]