111-Year-Old Woman Dies: “Loving People is the Key”

(Photo credit: 11alive.com)

Willie Mae Hardy, the granddaughter of a slave, born when Theodore Roosevelt was president just turned 111 this year, but now her family and friends are saying their goodbyes to a woman who’s lived through so much.

Hardy died in her sleep Wednesday at 111, one of the oldest people in the country. She enjoyed a “wonderful life,” her caretaker and granddaughter, Veronica Edwards told CNN from their metro Atlanta home.
“She didn’t want for anything,” Edwards said. “She was involved in the community until her health declined. She was caring and had a loving heart.”

Ms. Hardy was born on a plantation in 1908 in Talbot County, Junction City, Georgia. Her grandmother had been enslaved. After the Emancipation Proclamation the family remained on the plantation as tenant farmers. Growing up, she spent doing chores such as picking cotton, plowing the fields, caring for hogs and chickens, along with tending the garden. Despite her limited education she taught herself to read and write and has been an advocate for her children and all her grandchildren to get an education.